Censor Watch
 2012: April
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30th April   

Sniper Elite V2...

  Video Universe - Buy New Release DVDs, TV on DVD, Music Videos and Much More

US Mainstream DVDs

Video Universe
 

Recommended by the Australian Christian Lobby
Link Here
Sniper Elite V2 Xbox 360 A new video game that lets players assassinate Adolf Hitler and shows graphic, X-ray footage of bullets tearing through people will be in the hands of Australian kids by Friday.

Just days before Sniper Elite V2 is released to the public it has been branded as sick by the Australian Christian Lobby.

Jim Wallace, of the Australian Christian Lobby, said the context of the violence was rubbish and the game should have been refused classification.

The Classification Board found the World War II setting of the title and its focus on stealth techniques in the context of an historical war setting meant the game could be rated MA15+

The UK games censors at BBFC  have also rated the film as 15 uncut for strong bloody violence

 

30th April   

Update: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3...

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update service

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Melon Farming Fresh

 

Recommended by Keith Vaz in yet another parliamentary EDM
Link Here  full story: Keith Vaz...Keith Vaz in votes for knighthood claim

Call Duty Modern Warfare Xbox Early day motion 3014: VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES (No. 2)

Primary sponsor: Keith Vaz

That this House is reminded of the consequences of the ineffectual Pan European Game Information (PEGI) classification system for video games following the testimony of Anders Breivik about the tragic events in Norway in July 2011;

  • notes that in his submission of evidence to the court Breivik describes how he trained for the attacks using the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ;

  • is disturbed that Breivik used the game to help hone his target acquisition and the suggestion that the simulation prepared him for the attacks;

  • is concerned that PEGI as a classification system can only provide an age-rating and not restrict ultra-violent content; recognises that in an era of ever-more sophisticated and realistic game-play more robust precautions must be taken before video games are published; and

  • calls on the Government to provide for closer scrutiny of aggressive first-person shooter video games.

Signed by:

  • Bottomley, Peter Conservative Party Worthing West

  • Hopkins, Kelvin Labour Party Luton North

  • McDonnell, John Labour Party Hayes and Harlington

  • Russell, Bob Liberal Democrats Colchester

  • Vaz, Keith Labour Party Leicester East

 

30th April   

Update: Illegal Blocking...

Video Universe - Buy New Release DVDs, TV on DVD, Music Videos and Much More

Court rules that Pakistan's website blocking is illegal as it does not comply with the laws of the land
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking

Pakistan flag Reporters Without Borders has welcomed the ruling that the high court of the southeastern province of Sindh issued in response to a joint petition on 17 April by Bolo Bhi, a Pakistani civil rights group, and other human rights activists in a bid to stop illegal website censorship by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

According to a Bolo Bhi press release, the petition asked the court to ensure that no website was blocked, censored or restricted in violation of Pakistan's Constitution.

After examining the petition, the high court served notice on the federal government and ordered the PTA not to block any website except in accordance with the provisions of the Pakistan Telecommunication Act of 1996. This law regulates the PTA's control of telecommunications networks and requires, inter alia, that this control be exercised in a fair and transparent manner.

The high court's ruling, if respected, would make it impossible for the government to introduce any nationwide website filtering system.

 

29th April   

Daily Mail in Harrowing Attack on TV Programme...

A few viewers complaint about violent scenes in Silent Witness
Link Here
Silent Witness Series 13 DVD According to the ever ludicrous Daily Mail:

The BBC has been hit with a 'flood' of complaints over a 'harrowing' sex attack scene in crime drama Silent Witness .

Viewers were 'appalled' at the 'graphic' violence on the BBC1 series this week, contacting the broadcaster in their hundreds to register 'anger'.

As well as a scene in which a murderous prison guard carried out a prolonged sexual assault on a man, apparently using a baton, the programme also featured 'explicit' images of a man having his throat cut.

Although the show aired after the watershed, a few viewers said the assault was graphic and nasty and went too far .

There have been about 500 complaints about two episodes, with the BBC receiving 483 and TV censor Ofcom a further 35. The complaints will be assessed by Ofcom.

A large number related to the scenes where prison officer Daniel Kessler was shown attacking a drug dealer in a toilet. Viewers heard the violence being carried out in a closed cubicle and saw blood seep from beneath the door. The man's half-dressed body was later seen as the prison guard emerged from the cubicle. While the attack was not shown in full, the use of sound, including the maniacal comments of the killer and the screams of the victim, left viewers in little doubt what was happening.

A BBC statement said the scene was not an attempt to gratuitously shock the audience but was rooted in character and research and showed the brutality that Kessler was capable of . We don't feel the content of these episodes would have gone beyond viewers expectations We're sorry if you [viewers] felt we got it wrong on this occasion.'

Update: BBC Response

29th April 2012. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

BBC logo We've received complaints from some viewers who felt the two part instalment of Silent Witness entitled Redhill was too violent.

As programme makers we take our responsibility to the audience extremely seriously and try to make sure we strike the right balance between compelling drama without being unnecessarily graphic. Towards the end of the first episode we had established that DI Bridges and Officer Kessler had previously worked together and that he was the one very much in control. The final scene was not an attempt to gratuitously shock the audience; it was rooted in character and research, showing just what DI Bridges was prepared to do for her colleague for the sake of her family, as well as the brutality that Kessler was capable of.

We acknowledge that certain scenes may have been challenging, but we filmed and presented them in such a way as to make sure that although as a viewer the implication was there, it was never actually shown.

Silent Witness is now in its 15th series and we believe the general tone and content is widely recognised by its regular audience. It's fair to say the show is known for tackling challenging stories and exploring adult themes and we don't feel the content of these episodes would have gone beyond viewer's expectations.

As well as scheduling the series after the 9pm watershed, we made sure the content was widely publicised and gave a warning before both episodes which on Sunday stated:

...With scenes some viewers might find upsetting and violent scenes.

And Monday:

....With graphic violent scenes and some scenes which some viewers might find upsetting, Silent Witness.

We're sorry if you felt we got it wrong on this occasion.

 

29th April   

Extract: The Salient Points...

Daily Mail and Labour teaming up to show their digital illiteracy on porn and child protection is simply dangerous
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

sroc logo I've written extensively on the subject of web blocking to protect children from harmful content like pornography so I'll try and keep this short.

  • If you turned the internet off tomorrow you wouldn't stop kids getting hold of digital porn
  • General content filtering is impractical and imperfect. It doesn't even stop all accidental or incidental exposure and it certainly doesn't stop a motivated person or child getting to what they want with minimum technical knowledge.
  • Content filters over-block and prevent access to clean, lawful content and this impacts legitimate businesses
  • Even if content filters got much better, there is no one-size fits all. If you have children aged 7, 11 and 15 there is clearly content OK for a 15-year-old you wouldn't want your 7-year-old watching. So what level of content filtering do you want enabled by default on all connections?

...Read the full article

 

29th April   

Totally Vulgar...

Philippines tabloid on charges of indecency and using vulgar language
Link Here

bomba balita A criminal complaint was filed against two editors and several other persons for publishing supposedly lewd photos and columns in a Manila-based tabloid.

The Cebu City Anti-Indecency Board (CCAIB) claimed that the tabloid Bomba Balita Saski sa Katotohanan violated an Anti-Indecency Ordinance.

The tabloid was also accused of violating a Philippines law which prohibits obscene publications, exhibitions and indecent shows.

In its complaint, the board said they received information about Bomba's content being obscene, indecent and contained language or words that are totally vulgar. After verfication, the board said it found the columns and pictures of naked men and women in Bomba were sexually suggestive. In page 4 of one issue, five columns used words that are totally vulgar with details of sexual intercourse.

Other confiscated tabloids include Toro, Bagong Toro, Remate and Hataw . These tabloids are published in Manila and sent to Cebu.

 

29th April   

Some Random Pop Star...

Indonesian radio ban for Justin Bieber after fans wound up by throwaway remark about their country
Link Here
Believe Deluxe Justin Bieber

  Maybe a bit worried that
no-one will notice him?

A local Indonesian radio station in Medan, Kiss 105 FM, banned Justin Bieber's songs as a protest against the teenage pop sensation's remarks on Indonesia that sparked strong reactions from his local fans.

During a promotional event n London for his new album, Believe , Bieber told an interviewer about the creative process for one of his new tracks, saying it was recorded in some random country . His manager, Scott Scooter Braun, interrupted and informed him it was produced in Indonesia.

Kiss FM executive producer Anggi Simanjuntak told The Jakarta Post that his ban on Bieber was apparently supported by heartbroken radio listeners. Some of them unfollowed or even blocked Bieber's twitter account from their timelines, she said.

A Kiss FM announcer, Bea Lubis, said that she would probably cancel the ban if Bieber apologized in a sweet manner and promised not to say such things about Indonesia again .

 

28th April   

Genghis Khan...

Upcoming UK video release is cut by the BBFC
Link Here

Genghis Khan Region Import NTSC Genghis Khan is a 1965 UK/West Germany/Yugoslavia/USA historical adventure by Henry Levin. With Stephen Boyd, Omar Sharif and James Mason. See IMDb

The film has just been passed 12 for one scene of sexual assault after 35s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 Sony video

The BBFC commented that this was the Cut UK Feature and that it was additionally cut:

  • Cuts were required to remove sight of animal cruelty, in this case a series of shots of horses being made to fall dangerously.

Presumably the cuts are now:

  • 1965 cinema cuts for nudity still apply
  • 35s of cuts for horse falls

Previously more cuts for VHS

Previously it was passed PG after an additional 1:03s of BBFC cuts over the cinema cuts for:

  • UK 1991 VCI VHS
  • UK 1988 RCA/Columbia VHS

From IMDB:

  • 1965 cinema cuts for nudity still apply
  • additional cuts to a rape scene
  • additional cuts for horse falls

 

28th April   

Update: Recommended by the BBFC...

Distributors release US poster for The Bunny Game
Link Here  full story: The Bunny Game...Banned by the BBFC

bunny game april Autonomy Pictures has presented the first of four teaser posters for the upcoming US release of Adam Rehmeier's relentless horror film The Bunny Game , along with the trailer and first hi-res imagery.

The film was recently banned in England but will see an Uncut, Uncensored North America limited theatrical (in states that will permit it) and DVD/Blu-ray release in July.

See the trailer from player.vimeo.com

 

28th April   

Update: All Set for the London 1984 Olympics...

Spectators to be banned from posting their own photos on Facebook
Link Here  full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
Big Brother

  Enjoy the Games!

Well it seems that Olympic authorities are predictably going to treat spectators as shit.

Amateur Photographer reports that it will be against Olympic rules to tweet, share on Facebook or in any way share your photos of the event.

Quite how this will be policed is beyond comprehension and one would hope police officers are not going to be expected to pursue anyone seen posting photos on Instagram.

The London 2012 conditions state:

Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a Ticket Holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a Ticket Holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally, and may not exploit images, video and/or sound recordings for commercial purposes under any circumstances, whether on the internet or otherwise, or make them available to third parties for commercial purposes.

Coming after moves to restrict public demonstrations, photographers being interrogated on public footpaths and concern around heavy-handed commercial restrictions on what logos you can wear inside the Olympic village, this is yet another worrying development.

Rather than being the celebration organisers promised, London 2012 is rapidly risking becoming one of the most intimidating and restrictive events seen for decades.

 

28th April   

Confused.com Advert Winds up the Easily Outraged...

Drip drip drip of Mothers' Union whingeing becomes a torrent of bilge
Link Here

confused com nectar video TV viewers have got their knickers in a twist over the sight of cartoon women dancing in bikinis and a large woman flashing her underwear in an advert.

The 30-second TV ad for insurance company confused.com has resulted in 37 nutter complaints from 'outraged' members of the public who ludicrously claim it is too overly sexual.

Cartoon characters with large breasts in skimpy bikinis are shown jumping up and down in slow motion to the Village People's YMCA song - while another woman's short dress rides up to expose her pink knickers.

The ASA has investigated the firm's ad and has found the complaints to be bollox.

A spokesman for the authority said the organisation had received a number of complaints on a range of issues including that the ads were misleading in the representation of the value of nectar points. Other complaints were logged because the advert was overly sexual and inappropriate for children to see, and that it is offensive in stereotyping on religious and race grounds. The spokesman said: We have decided, following an ASA Council decision, that there were no grounds to take any action on these issues.

The Mothers' Union today slammed the advert for increasing the creeping sexualisation of television. A spokesprat said:

This advert increases our major concern about the drip-drip affect of sexualisation of everyone on television. It is having an impact on everyone - including children - and we need to protect them from this wallpapering of sexualisation.

It is high time something is done about this. We need to become aware of what is going on before the drip-drip becomes a torrent.

 

28th April

 Offsite Article: Big Brother's Little Sister...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Theresa May proving evasive about details of state snooping scheme

See article from bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

 

27th April   

Extract: Researching the BBFC Research Facilities...

Best to take an assistant with a photographic memory
Link Here

book of the dead logo Much as I would like to make a post here praising the people at the British Board of Film Classification for their hospitality and helpfulness, I can't. So I've written out the story anyway lest anyone else find themselves in the same situation.

So, a friend sent me a link to the BBFC website, which seemed to offer the ability for anyone to come in and view their records of any film they'd classified:

The BBFC has over 60,000 historic records of classification decisions made since 1 January 1913. Some are noted in Film Registers and there are paper files from around the late 1950s onwards. The file for any work which is over twenty years old is available for research purposes on the Board's premises. The files do vary in size and content.

Anyone wishing to view the Board's records should email helpline@bbfc.co.uk and should provide a list of film titles and release dates. We will check the availability of each file and contact you to make an appointment to come in and view the records. No file can be removed from our building. We only charge for this service if we have to recall a box from our external archive and the cost is 17.24 for up to four boxes. You will have to complete a Copyright Acceptance Form before viewing and you should refer to it for terms and conditions.

evil dead shack

  Are you sure they sent us to the right place
for the BBFC research facility?

I took the day off work and caught the train to visit the BBFC...

...Read the full article: My Trip To The BBFC

 

27th April   

Update: Shadowy Labour...

Labour add to the shrill nutter cacophony calling for one size fits all website blocking
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

labour logo Senior Labour MPs have supported a default block on adult websites.

Jenny Chapman, the shadow minister for justice, and Helen Goodman, the shadow minister for culture, media and sport, pledged their support.

In an article for the Daily Mail they condemned the access to pornography as a modern-day form of pollution . They wrote:

Children are regularly seeing pornography and sometimes being groomed for sex. Righting these wrongs is not an attack on civil liberties. Adults will still have the choice to access material they want to see.

But in a civilised society we must also protect our children. What we want to see is the same balance of rights and responsibilities as we have in the real world.

They also claimed that sales of televisions with internet access meant even more children will be one click from the strongest material .

They attacked Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt's proposal, which involves asking the four major ISPs to offer new customers the chance to opt out of access to pornography. They argue it would be 2017 before the proportion of households included reached 90%. They added that the plan does not go nearly far enough.

 

27th April   

Rated Spider for Tangled Web of Rules...

UK video games now reported to be exclusively using PEGI ratings from July 2012
Link Here

pegi symbols logo Nearly three years ago, PEGI was selected to be the organisation to rate videogames, and passed into law in 2010 as part of the Digital Economy Bill, but due to issues behind-the-scenes its full implementation has been delayed.

Now Dr. Jo Twist UKIE, the UK trade group representing the video game industry, said:

Our next major campaign launches this summer to promote PEGI and to demystify video games to parents.

This campaign will launch when PEGI is finally implemented. PEGI is indeed progressing and the latest estimated implementation date is this July.

 

27th April   

Girl on a Motorcycle...

US DVD and Blu-ray release of the Jack Cardiff 1960s Marianne Faithful vehicle
Link Here

Girl On Motorcycle Remastered Edition Girl on a Motorcycle is a 1968 UK/France romance by Jack Cardiff. With Marianne Faithfull, Alain Delon and Roger Mutton. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for;

  • US 2012 Redemption/Jezebel RA Blu-ray at US Amazon just released on 24th April
  • US 2012 Redemption/Jezebel R2 DVD at US Amazon just released on 24th April

UK: Passed 15 with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

Previously Cut by the BBFC

UK: The cut UK cinema version was passed 15 without further cuts for:

  • UK 1990 Castle VHS

UK: Passed X (16) after substantial BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1968 cinema release

The BBFC noted the submitted running time as 91:21s = 87:42s PAL

From IMDb. The film was cut heavily by the BBFC with:

  • edits to all of the sex scenes
  • edits to shots of Rebecca caressing the saddle of the motorbike.

 

27th April   

Updated: Egypt Back to the Dark Ages...

Appeal upholds jailing of Egyptian film star for offending islam
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Egypt...Unswaying belief in injustice

qn196aqofroqr9 An Egyptian court has upheld a conviction against one of the Arab world's most famous comedians, sentencing him to jail for offending Islam in some of his most popular films.

Adel Imam was sentenced to three months in jail and fined around $170 for insulting Islam in roles he played in movies such as The Terrorist , in which he acted the role of a wanted terrorist who found refuge with a middle class, moderate family, and the film Terrorism and Kabab.

The actor was also found guilty for his 2007 role in Morgan Ahmed Morgan , in which Imam played a corrupt businessman who tries to buy a university diploma. The film included a scene parodying bearded Muslim men wearing traditional Islamic clothing.

Author Alaa al-Aswany, whose best-seller The Yacoubian Building was turned into a film costarring Imam, said the court ruling sets Egypt back to the darkness of the Middle Ages.

Update: Adel Imam stars in another farce

27th April 2012. See article from acn.liveauctioneers.com

A Cairo misdemeanour court dismissed on Thursday a complaint against Egyptian comedy actor Adel Imam and other artists for insulting religion, days after another one sentenced him to jail on the same charge.

The court told the Islamist lawyer who brought the complaint that he had no standing to bring charges against the five artists, who include authors and directors, judicial sources said.

On Tuesday, another court upheld a three-month prison sentence for Imam, one of the region's most famous actors, after a February conviction in absentia.

Imam, who has acted in several movies critical of violent Islamist radicals, told told AFP on Tuesday he would appeal the verdict and remains free on bail.

Update: Conviction quashed

14th September 2012. See  article from  scotsman.com

An Egyptian appeals court has quashed the conviction of the Arab world's most famous comic actor, Adel Imam, on a charge of insulting Islam in his films and plays, rejecting a case brought by a lawyer with Islamist affiliations.

Imam, 72, has frequently poked fun at figures of authority and politicians of all stripes, making him the target of several court actions during a four-decade career. His more serious films dealt with the rise of Islamist militancy.

A judge found Imam guilty in February. The court overturned that verdict.

 

27th April   

Progress Blocked...

Palestinian Minister of Communications resigns in protest against website censorship
Link Here

Palestine flag The Palestinian minister of communications has resigned after criticizing censorship of websites critical of the Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas.

Shortly before submitting his resignation to Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Abu Daka accused the PA attorney-general of being behind the decision to block the news sites including Fateh Voice.

Abu Daka confirmed that a number of Palestinian websites had been blocked by the attorney-general for criticizing PA President Mahmoud Abbas and accused the attorney-general, Ahmed al-Mughni, of gagging freedom of expression and said the decision to block the websites was illegal.

The Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency revealed earlier this week that the PA has blocked up to eight critical news sites since the beginning of the year.

The sites, Amad, Fatah Voice, Firas Press, In Light Press, Karama Press, Kofia Press, Milad News and Palestine Beituna, were all blocked. Palestinian officials told Ma'an that the order to block the web sites came from the attorney-general.

Most of the affected sites were believed to be funded and supported by Abbas's rival, former Fatah Gaza strongman Muhammad

 

27th April   

Updated: Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)...

Another new US bill proposed to give the state awesome censorship powers
Link Here  full story: SOPA...Internet censorship in the name of preventing piracy

US Senate U.S. lawmakers have authored another bill designed to censor the internet in the name of cybersecurity.

Citing cyberattacks as a threat, some legislators have lent their support to a new act that, if passed, would let the government pry into the personal correspondence of any person they choose.

The website Change.org has created a petition against the act and a handful of videos have been made against it along with some articles, but the American press has been mostly silent about the potential act, HR 3523, a piece of legislation dubbed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA for short).

Opponents say the bill has vague language that could well allow Congress to circumvent existing exemptions to online privacy laws and essentially monitor, censor and stop any online communication that it considers disruptive to the government or private parties.

Critics have already come after CISPA for the capabilities that it will give to seemingly any federal entity that claims it is threatened by online interactions, but unlike the Stop Online Privacy Act and the Protect IP Acts that were discarded on the Capitol Building floor after incredibly successful online campaigns to crush them, widespread recognition of what the latest would-be law will do has yet to surface to the same degree.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an online advocacy group, has sharply condemned CISPA for what it means for the future of the Internet. It effectively creates a cybersecurity exemption to all existing laws, explains the EFF, who add in a statement of their own that There are almost no restrictions on what can be collected and how it can be used, provided a company can claim it was motivated by cybersecurity purposes.

Update: Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote

27th April 2012. See article from techdirt.com

The House has passed the bill with late amendments that opened up the scope way beyond the original security basis.

Among them was an absolutely terrible change (pdf and embedded below---scroll to amendment #6) to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government's power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used. Even more astonishingly, it passed with a near-unanimous vote. The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.

Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for cybersecurity or national security purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.

...Read the full article

 

26th April   

Script Censors...

BBFC suggested cuts so that the film Now is Good could be rated 12A
Link Here

now is good Now is Good is a 2012 UK drama by Ol Parker. With Dakota Fanning, Kaya Scodelario and Jeremy Irvine. See IMDb .

Passed 12A for strong language, drug use, sex references & terminal illness theme after BBFC suggested cuts were implemented for:

  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

The BBFC was given a draft script before the film was produced and advised the company that a film of the script would be likely to receive a 15 classification. In order to achieve the company's preferred 12A classification, the BBFC advised that:

  • some visual and verbal sex references should be removed,

  • that sight of potentially harmful behaviour should be removed,

  • that use of strong language should be reduced, and

  • that a scene in which drugs are prepared and taken should be substantially reduced.

When the film was submitted for classification, the changes recommended at the script stage had been made and the film was classified 12A.

 

26th April   

Update: Scary Censorship...

Massively edited made for TV ghost movie not edited enough for daytime TV
Link Here

Secrets Walls Region Import NTSC Secrets in the Walls
Channel 5, 20 January 2012, 15:15

A complainant alerted Ofcom to the pre-watershed broadcast of the film The Secrets in the Walls because of concerns that it contained supernatural and horror themes and images unsuitable for a child audience.

Ofcom noted that this was a made-for-television film about a mother who moves into a new home with her two daughters where, it is later revealed, a young teenage bride had been murdered. Her malevolent spirit now seeks to free itself by possessing the older daughter. The film featured the following scenes:

  • the unexpected appearance of the spirit in front of the daughters and at the window of the house, and their reactions of fear and distress;
  • supernatural activities such as unexplained music from a jewellery box, slamming doors and flickering lights;
  • the older daughter was trapped in the wardrobe screaming and scratching as the light in the wardrobe flickered on and off (it was later revealed that she lost two fingernails from her frantic scratching to get out);
  • an attempted exorcism to banish the spirit from the house; and
  • the possession of the older daughter by the spirit.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code:

  • Children must ... be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

Channel 5 said that in total 18 edits were made to the film with the aim of reducing the overall horror/thriller tone of the film and this was the version that was broadcast. However, having reviewed this broadcast version, Channel 5 stated:

we are of the view that further significant edits would have been required to make the programme suitable for a 3.15pm timeslot, or, the programme should have been scheduled at a time when children were not likely to be watching. Re-scheduling this version of the programme would have been the preferable solution as further edits...seem likely to compromise the editorial narrative of the programme, distort its meaning and/or confuse viewers.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

This film contained themes, sequences and images of menace, threat and suspense as well as specific examples of supernatural activity, exorcism and possession which are typically found in horror films aimed at adult viewers. In one particular example, the mother was asleep in darkness when a shrill scream came from her older daughter's bedroom, piercing the silence. The mother and younger daughter ran to the bedroom and loud scratching and screams for help and I can't breathe could be heard. The light in the cupboard flickered on and off as the mother pulled open the doors to release her daughter, whose hands were injured from scratching at the closed doors to escape. These scenes were accompanied throughout by menacing sound effects and music. Further scenes featured the spirit appearing to the daughters unexpectedly in the mirror and at windows; and an attempt to exorcise the spirit that resulted in the woman conducting the exorcism being knocked down violently.

In Ofcom's view these themes, sequences and images were unsuitable for child viewers and hence in breach of Rule 1.3

 

26th April   

PC Muppets...

Ludicrous German TV censors whinge at plug for the The Muppets movie
Link Here

The Muppets DVD Jason Segel Kermit has run afoul of Germany's TV censors at ZAK who found Kermit guilty of illegal product placement in an appearance last year on commercial network Pro7.

The channel used the frog to present its Disney Day of programming. But Kermit also mentioned the theatrical release of Disney's The Muppets . Because the promo was not marked on screen as an ad, Pro7 violated German media law, which bans product placement unless clearly identified as such. Pro7 has admitted the error.

ZAK has also ruled against pay TV group Sky Deutschland for showing ads of sports betting site bwin during its broadcasts of German league soccer matches. Sky had apparently violated the German ban on gambling ads on television. Sky has also argued that the gambling ban does not apply to on air references to bwin.

So more extremely expensive PC bureaucracy that suffocates European industry. Not only does someone have to pay for the mindless censors, the TV companies have to waste money employing compliancy officers and the like to try and avoid censure.

And then when little Johnny is so expensively protected from hearing the word 'fuck' or a plug the Muppets or the latest odds from Ladbrokes, he will likely come across any of these in his next 5 minutes of experiences in the 'real' world anyway.

 

26th April   

Strictly Come Dancing...

BBC Trust savages appellants whingeing about Robbie Savage taking off Michael Jackson
Link Here

Strictly Come Dancing Official Programme Strictly Come Dancing,
BBC One, 29 October 2011

Two people appealed to the BBC Trust against the BBC's response to complaints regarding a dance routine on the Strictly Come Dancing Halloween special.

The appeals were consolidated and considered together across the range of issues raised. The complainants said that a dance routine performed by Robbie Savage to the Michael Jackson song Bad was sexually explicit (particularly in relation to its ending, when the contestant jumped onto the judges' desk in front of one of the male judges) and was inappropriate for the programme's audience.

The Committee concluded:

  • that the routine in question was not sexually aggressive and would have been viewed more as pantomime behaviour, a caricature of Michael Jackson's dance routine, and would not have had a harmful effect on children.
  • that, while some viewers may have found elements of the routine tasteless and vulgar, overall the routine did not exceed audience expectations.
  • that the audience would be familiar with the nature of Robbie Savage's on-screen relationship with the male judge and would take that into consideration as part of the narrative of the show.
  • that the dance routine met generally accepted standards, but that the final hip thrust on the judges' desk was at the margins of acceptability in a programme appealing to a wide family audience.

The complaints were not upheld

 

26th April   

Updated: Shame...

Steve McQueen film banned in Singapore
Link Here

Shame DVD Michael Fassbender Director Steve McQueen has stopped his film on sex addiction Shame being shown in Singapore after a row over censorship.

Singapore censors ordered a threesome between the main character and two women to be shortened, and even then, rated it suitable only for viewers over 21 years old.

However a spokeswoman for distributor Cathay-Keris Films told AFP:

Mr McQueen feels that it is important for his work to be seen in the way it was intended and hence was... not agreeable to have his film be cut in any way. We respect his decision and as such this film will not be able to be released in Singapore theatrically.

Censors of the Media Development Authority told Straits Times newspaper:

We are of the view that the prolonged and explicit threesome sex sequence has exceeded our classification guidelines.

 

26th April   

Updated: Censorship Wedge Being Driven In...

Dutch court orders proxy servers to close on the grounds they could be used to circumvent the blocking of Pirate Bay
Link Here  full story: Pirate Bay...Pirate Bay, Swedish file sharing site

Netherlands BREIN, the Dutch entertainment industry trade association, has obtained a court order forcing a proxy provider to close down on the grounds that the site facilitated access to a well known file-sharing website.

In January, the Court of the Hague ordered two of the Netherland's largest broadband providers to block the Pirate Bay via both IP and DNS blocking. However, users were still able to access the site via a number of proxy servers, some created with the purpose of circumventing the blocking regime.

But last week BREIN obtained an injunction requiring the proxy site tpb.dehomies.nl to close down or face a fine of EUR1000 for every day the site remains online. The trade association immediately contacted the operators of a number of other proxy servers threatening similar legal action if they refuse to close down their services. At least four complied within a week.

Update: Pirate Party Put up a Fight

10th April 2012. See  article from  torrentfreak.com
See also depiratenpartij.wordpress.com

Pirate Party In their ongoing efforts to make The Pirate Bay inaccessible, the Hollywood-backed anti-piracy outfit BREIN is now going after the Dutch Pirate Party. BREIN is demanding that the political party ceases operating a proxy site, and is threatening to sue.

The Pirate Party is not impressed by the demands and has sent BREIN their response as a torrent, fittingly hosted at The Pirate Bay.

Proxy sites sprung up in the Netherlands to work around ISP blocking of The Pirate Bay. In the space of a few days hundreds of individuals setup proxy websites that allow customers of the ISPs to continue using The Pirate Bay.

Countering this move, local anti-piracy outfit BREIN obtained an injunction from the Court of The Hague which instructed the proxy site tpb.dehomies.nl to shut down or face a 1000 euros a day fine. The group is now using this injunction to press other site owners to do the same.

Last week the local Pirate Party also received a letter from BREIN, demanding the shutdown of their Pirate Bay proxy site hosted at tpb.piratenpartij.nl. However, unlike the site owners that were previously contacted by the group, the Pirate Party is not caving in. They would rather fight the case in court.

The Party informed BREIN that the proxy site will stay online. To show that The Pirate Bay can be a useful communication tool the Pirate Party sent the letter through a torrent file, hosted on the BitTorrent site at the center of the dispute.

The demands are ridiculous, Pirate Party chairman Dirk Poot told TorrentFreak:

A private lobbying organization should not be allowed to be the censor of the Dutch internet. We were also amazed to find an ex-parte decision attached, threatening Dutch minors with EUR1000 per day fines for operating their proxy. If we would have yielded, their trick would immediately be played out against numerous other private citizens.

Update: Injuncted to Close

20th April 2012. See  article from  torrentfreak.com

Last week the Dutch Pirate Party refused to cave in to the demands of Hollywood-backed anti-piracy group BREIN, who ordered the political party to take their Pirate Bay proxy offline. As expected, BREIN didn't let the case rest.The group obtained an injunction from the Court of The Hague which ordered the Pirates to shutter the proxy within 6 hours, or face a fine of 10,000 euros per day.

So the Pirate Party kept the proxy site offline and consulted with lawyers to see what steps could be taken next. However, BREIN wasn't sitting still either and asked the Court of The Hague for a new injunction, specifically naming the Pirate Party proxy.

This injunction was issued, and the court orders the Pirates to take the proxy offline within 6 hours, or face a penalty of 10,000 euro per day. BREIN successfully argued that the proxy is an immediate threat to the effectiveness of the ISP blockade, and submitted tweets of Pirate Party chairman who confirmed how much traffic the site received.

Faced with huge fines, the Dutch Pirate Party saw no other option than to take the proxy offline, replacing it with a list of tip and alternative proxies. Monday the Pirate Party will file a request to overturn the injunction, meaning that while BREIN won the first battle, the war is far from over.

Update: Now Hollywood trade group attempts to gag a political party

26th April 2012. See  article from  torrentfreak.com

The Hollywood-backed anti-piracy outfit BREIN is going all out to make The Pirate Bay inaccessible to the Dutch public. After successfully blocking The Pirate Bay through court, and then censoring proxy sites that linked to it, they are now demanding that the Pirate Party should be banned from discussing how easily Internet censorship can be circumvented. The political party is baffled by the proposed gag-order and has asked the court to lift all censorship efforts.

The case, in which the Pirate Party asked the court to lift all censorship restrictions, was heard by the court. BREIN, however, did exactly the opposite by submitting a rather broad set of new demands essentially asking the court to gag the political party.

In short BREIN's demands are as follows.

  1. The Pirate Party should be banned from operating a reverse proxy for Pirate Bay
  2. The Pirate Party should be banned from operating a generic proxy service
  3. The Pirate Party should be banned from linking to third-party proxies
  4. The Pirate Party should be banned from listing new IP-addresses / domains Pirate Bay registers
  5. The Pirate Party should be banned from encouraging people to circumvent the Pirate Bay blockade

If the Pirate Party violates the above terms BREIN asked for a penalty of EUR10,000 per day, up to a maximum of EUR250,000.

Needless to say, the demands of the anti-piracy group are unprecedented for a copyright related case. It is essentially a gag-order to enforce a previously obtained court verdict. If the court sides with BREIN this will have rather far-reaching consequences for people's freedom of speech.

 

26th April   

Update: The Walking Dead...

Australian censorship claims another video games victim
Link Here
Walking Dead Online Game Code The Walking Dead , the video games adaption of the TV show has not made available in Australia or New Zealand. Many assumed it may be something to do with classification, and that assumption seems to be correct.

After being asked why the game wasn't available on Telltale's official forum, a member of staff responded with the following...

Sorry, but due to the OFLC ratings laws in Australia and New Zealand, and the fact that this is a mature game, we do not currently have plans to release the game there on consoles.

One can only assume that Telltale didn't think it was worth the cost (and risk) of attempting to classify the game in Australia.

Hopefully this will be one of the last causalities of Australian censorship, as it is hoped that an adult game rating will be available from next year.

Update: Why New Zealand suffers

27th April 2012. See  article from  stuff.co.nz

New Zealand actually has an rating for adults and The Walking Dead is hardly likely to be a censorship issue. It is just that Australia and New Zealand are paired for marketing purposes. And the New Zealand market alone is too small to make a release worthwhile.

 

26th April   

Updated: ACTA Raises More Fears than Hopes...

European Parliament ACTA rapporteur recommends against signing the treaty. Socialists and Democrats say they will follow this advice
Link Here  full story: ACTA Trade Restrictions...Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

European Parliament logo David Martin, the European Parliament's rapporteur on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), has announced that he will recommend that Parliament votes against this controversial trade agreement because it does not provide enough guarantees for citizens.

Martin made this announcement at the end of a public debate organised by the Socialist & Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament with representatives of industry, NGOs, unions, internet groups and citizens concerned about the effects of implementing ACTA. David Martin said:

Today's conference has confirmed my suspicion that ACTA raises more fears than hopes.

What it delivers in terms of important intellectual property rights is diminished by potential threats to civil liberties and internet freedom.

When the European Parliament rejects ACTA, the Commission must work to find other ways to defend European intellectual property in the global marketplace.

The president of the S&D Group, Euro MP Hannes Swoboda, fully supported Martin's decision. He said:

Next week, at our upcoming group meeting, I will recommend to all Socialists and Democrats to reject ACTA.

It will be important to find a way to solve standing problems through a transparent process and in a way whereby freedoms of Internet users will not be further restricted.

S&D vice-president Sylvie Guillaume said:

This conference has once again confirmed our fears about the potential risks of a text like this for the fundamental liberties of European citizens. It's not a question of whether we should fight counterfeiting and piracy, but in this case, and given the legal uncertainty and doubts surrounding this Agreement, it is not acceptable.

Update: Liberals and Democrats reject ACTA

26th April 2012. See  article from  torrentfreak.com

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) in the European Parliament have just confirmed that they will reject ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Leader of the Alliance, Guy Verhofstadt, said that while supporting the protection of intellectual property rights, ALDE believes that ACTA falls short on a number of counts.

Although we unambiguously support the protection of intellectual property rights, we also champion fundamental rights and freedoms. We have serious concerns that ACTA does not strike the right balance, announced Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader.

Civil society has been extremely vocal in recent months in raising their legitimate concerns on the ACTA agreement which we share. There are too many provisions lacking clarity and certainty as to the way they would be implemented in practice, Verhofstadt noted.

Update: European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda speaks against ACTA

5th May 2012. See  article from  business.avn.com

The whole idea behind the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which late last year and earlier this year was signed (though not ratified) by a number of countries, including the US and EU members, was to bring the world together to address the global fight against digital piracy, such as it is. But, as with so many things political, it appears that the process behind ACTA as much as the provisions contained within it have all but doomed the law to the dustbin of history. At least that is what Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, has said is the likely outcome.

We have recently seen how many thousands of people are willing to protest against rules which they see as constraining the openness and innovation of the internet, Kroes said Friday during a conference in Berlin: This is a strong new political voice. And as a force for openness, I welcome it, even if I do not always agree with everything it says on every subject.

We are now likely to be in a world without SOPA and without ACTA.

 

26th April

 Offsite Article: U Rated Fluff...

Link Here
The silliest movie complaints sent to the BBFC. And none of them are as silly as today's call to ban a lap dancing club because it is opposite a burger bar

See article from uk.movies.yahoo.com

 

26th April

 Offsite Comment: Could teenagers be stopped from looking at porn?...

Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
A selection of opinions via the BBC

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

25th April   

Keeping Society Civilised?...

David Cooke speaks of the cuts to The Hunger Games
Link Here

The Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence Before the film's formal UK classification, Lionsgate, the UK distributor of The Hunger Games, approached the BBFC for classification advice. Lionsgate made clear that they were looking for a 12A classification which would enable many children who had read and enjoyed the book to see the film. However, it was clear that the film shown to us at this early stage went some way beyond the BBFC's Guidelines at 12A. The level of detail of some of the violence and gore, such as the tending of bloody wounds, required the 15 category.

We also considered at this early stage whether the theme and overall tone of the film were appropriate for 12-year-olds. Although the concept of children and young people being forced to fight and kill one another is potentially disturbing, we concluded that the futuristic and fantastical nature of the setting distanced the sense of threat from reality. The film is also alive to ethical questions and we believed young teenagers were likely to understand that the film, like the novel, is a critique of violence and of media manipulation. Indeed, it vividly invites its viewers to use and develop their media literacy skills.

The story has some similarities to The Lord of the Flies, which is taught in schools to the same age group. If anything, the latter takes a bleaker view of human nature.

Having concluded that the issues of theme and tone were appropriate for 12-year-olds, we suggested how the distributor might be able to secure the desired 12A classification by reducing the level of violence, blood and gore. Lionsgate returned with another version of the film for advice, which took account of some of our suggestions. However it was still some way off the 12A criteria. Scenes with emphasis on injuries and blood remained, going against what the public, through our research and consultations, have told us is acceptable at this relatively junior category. We again offered advice as to what Lionsgate should remove for the film to be contained at the 12A category.

When the film was finally submitted for formal classification we required a further seven seconds of cuts to the most violent and bloody sequence, which takes place as the game begins, as well as the digital removal of some bloody effects.

In all, Lionsgate removed around 20 seconds of the most violent, threatening and gory content and digitally removed other bloody effects. This was their choice. The BBFC did not require Lionsgate to make any cuts at all. We offered a 15 classification without cuts.

...Read the full article

 

25th April   

Killer Nun...

Video nasty released on US region free Blu-ray
Link Here

Killer Nun Blu ray Anita Ekberg Killer Nun is a 1978 Italian horror by Giulio Berruti. With Anita Ekberg, Paola Morra and Alida Valli. See IMDb .

US: The US release is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Previous Uncut Releases

UK: Passed 18 uncut with cuts waived for:

The BBFC commented in their 2006 Annual Report:

  • Killer Nun had required cuts to remove some scenes of sadistic torture on video in 1993, but these now appeared dated and lacked the power to shock or harm and so it was passed without cuts.

US: The US release is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Summary Review: Well worth checking out

Anyone familiar with nunsploitation will recognise this as a stand out film.

There are some very atmospheric set pieces in the film Anita Ekberg's flashbacks and the giallo inspired murder of the old woman.

The dubbing detracts from the power of the film by having cheesy actors do the overdubs. Some of the editing is a bit sloppy but Italian exploitation fans are well used to this. The gorgeous Paola Morra is worth the price of the film alone. Well worth checking out.

Previously cut by the BBFC

UK: Passed 18 after 13s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1993 Redemption VHS

The BBFC required the following cuts:

  • A scene was cut showing the torture of an old woman, including a close up of a needle piercing an eye and a scalpel cutting into her bandaged flesh.

Previously a Video Nasty

UK: Released uncut for:

  • 1981 Techno Film VHS

Released on  pre-cert video by Techno Film in April 1981. It was listed as a video nasty in August 1984 but was dropped by July 1985

 

25th April   

Torchwood: Miracle Day...

BBC Trust dismisses appeal in support of whinge about gay sex scene in Torchwood
Link Here

Torchwood Miracle Day Series DVD Torchwood – Miracle Day,
BBC One, 25 August 2011

A complainant said that a sex scene in episode seven of the BBC One drama series Torchwood was inappropriate for its target audience (which the complainant considered to be children under 16 years of age). The complainant said that, although the programme was shown after the watershed, it would attract 13-15 year olds who watch Doctor Who. The complainant also complained about the existence of a link between the Doctor Who and Torchwood websites.

The Committee concluded:

  • that the sexual content was appropriately handled taking into account the lead-up to the scene and that the development of the scene gave no doubt as to the ultimate outcome.

  • that the scene itself was not prurient or exploitative and was not sexually explicit.

  • that most viewers are aware of the 9pm watershed and, given the nature of the drama and its scheduling, the scene did not exceed audience expectations.

  • that, given the ultimate outcome of the scene was clear for some time, carers and parents were able to decide to switch off if they wished.

  • that, while specific content advice regarding the sex scene would have been useful, the development of the scene and the established context of the programme meant that viewers would have had sufficient information to decide whether they wished to view the programme.

  • that, taking into account the information provided online about any challenging content, and the scheduling of the series, the Committee did not consider that a link between the Doctor Who and Torchwood websites was of sufficient concern in encouraging children to watch this post-watershed drama.

The complaint was not upheld

 

25th April   

Update: Blurring and Bleeping...

Not enough to save Girls of Playboy Mansion from Ofcom censure for daytime viewing
Link Here

Girls Playboy Mansion Season DVD Girls of the Playboy Mansion
E! Entertainment, 27 December 2011, 10:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 21:00

Girls of the Playboy Mansion is a reality television series, filmed in the USA home of Hugh Hefner, the American magazine publisher and founder of the adult entertainment company Playboy Enterprises. It features the day to day activities of a group of women who live with Hugh Hefner in his house, known as the Playboy Mansion. The series was broadcast on the cable and satellite television channel E! Entertainment.

During routine monitoring, Ofcom noted various episodes (each of about thirty minutes duration) of the Girls of the Playboy Mansion broadcast consecutively throughout the day and evening on E! Entertainment on 27 December 2011. The programmes featured:

  • at 10:54 a male stripper wearing a pouch thong (his buttocks were blurred and genitals covered) thrusting his buttocks into the face of the mother of one of Hugh Hefner?s girlfriends during a lingerie party at the Playboy Mansion with the accompanying comment: she needed a good ass in her face (this scene and comment were also broadcast as part of a preview at the start of the episode);
  • a number of sequences showing women and female glamour models, posing and being photographed during casting sessions for the 55th anniversary Playmate cover (with naked breasts, genitals and buttocks blurred) in consecutive episodes broadcast between 16:00 and 21:00; and
  • numerous examples of bleeped and masked offensive and most offensive language.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code, which states:

Children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

NBC Universal on behalf of the Licensee apologised for the inappropriate scheduling of this material. It explained that as soon as the Licensee was alerted to Ofcom's concerns about the content, E Entertainment placed a post-22:00 scheduling restriction on the entire series of Girls of the Playboy Mansion until it was fully re-complied and re-edited where necessary.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

In Ofcom's opinion these episodes of Girls in the Playboy Mansion were clearly unsuitable for children.

They included prolonged sequences of nudity (albeit with breasts, buttocks and genitals blurred), particularly during the consecutive episodes showing the search for the 55th Playboy glamour model. These sequences featured numerous scenes of the models being filmed as they posed and were photographed during casting sessions for Playboy magazine. In addition, there was a sequence of the lingerie party at the Playboy Mansion which featured numerous scantily clad Playboy glamour models posing for the cameras; and shots of a male stripper wearing a thong thrusting his buttocks in the face of the mother of one of Mr Hefner?s girlfriends, with a commentary: she needed a good ass in her face .

The episodes also featured repeated bleeped and masked offensive language throughout, which (taken together with the scenes of nudity) demonstrated in Ofcom's opinion that these programmes contained themes of an adult nature and were aimed at an adult audience.

Ofcom noted that various episodes were broadcast consecutively at various times during the day on a Bank Holiday during the Christmas period when it was likely that children, some unaccompanied by an adult, might have been watching. Also no announcement whatsoever was made before the start of, or between, any of the programmes to warn viewers in advance about their content. In Ofcom's view this material was clearly not scheduled appropriately.

These broadcasts were therefore in breach of Rule 1.3.

Ofcom recently found that on two separate occasions in September 2011 the Licensee broadcast programmes that breached Section One of the Code3 . In the second of the two recorded breaches in Bulletin 195, Ofcom stated that it had put E Entertainment on notice that it is particularly concerned about the Licensee's compliance procedures and will proceed to consider further regulatory action should any similar incidents occur. Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that we will consider this breach for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

 

25th April   

Fucking Morality Censors...

ASA whinges at student event flyer on grounds that casual sex is 'potentially unsafe'
Link Here

pearl lounge aberdeen logo A leaflet, distributed around Aberdeen University campus on behalf of The Pearl Lounge, stated VALENTINES FU*K FEST THURSDAY 16TH FEBRUARY GO HOME WITH A STRANGER! 70P BROKE BOMBS GET YOUR NUMBER AT THE DOOR LEAVE YOUR MESSAGES SEE MORE FU*KING THAN DAVID ATTENBOROUGH COULD HANDLE! . Issue

Aberdeen City Council and a member of the public challenged whether the leaflet was:

  1. offensive, because it featured sexually explicit material; and

  2. irresponsible, because the text GO HOME WITH A STRANGER encouraged potentially unsafe practices.

The Pearl Lounge said they did not support the message communicated in the leaflet. They also said it was not the promoter's intention to cause harm or offence but to create a tongue in cheek promotion aimed at students. They said the event was cancelled and all promotional material had been withdrawn. They also said they had since worked closely with Aberdeen City Council and student bodies to ensure similar risky promotions did not run again and that all future material for external events was proof read by the venue.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA welcomed the advertiser's assurance that similar promotional material would not be distributed in future. We noted the ad stated VALENTINES FU*K FEST... SEE MORE FU*KING THAN DAVID ATTENBOROUGH ... and considered that, because it was clear from the use of asterisks in the words FU*K and FU*KING that they represented swear words, the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to some readers.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence)

2. Upheld

We considered that the text GO HOME WITH A STRANGER , in conjunction with the text VALENTINES FU*K FEST and SEE MORE FU*KING THAN DAVID ATTENBOROUGH ... was likely to been seen as encouraging readers to go home with a stranger to have sex. We considered that, because this was a potentially unsafe practice, the ad was socially irresponsible. We therefore concluded that it breached the Code.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.5 (Harm and offence).

 

25th April   

Update: A Dirty Job...

A botched attempt to cut an adults only major film for Indian TV embarrasses the censors
Link Here  full story: The Dirty Picture...Bollywood movie under censorship duress

The Dirty Picture Vidya Balan The last-minute cancellation of the TV broadcast of Milan Luthria's The Dirty Picture on Sunday afternoon has thrown open a heated discussion within the Central Board Of Film Censorship (CBFC) as to how Adults Only films can be cut for general TV viewing.

A source from the censor board said:

The experience with The Dirty Picture's deferred telecast proves that simply ordering extra cuts in an 'Adults' film is not enough when the very theme is adult.

Those members of the censor board who had viewed The Dirty Picture to certify it for satellite and television screening ordered 52 cuts. But those 52 cuts amounted to no more than 7 minutes of additional cuts. [These were sufficient for the CBFC to award a U/A certificate, previously sufficient for a TV airing].

On Thursday when the Information & Broadcasting ministry reacted to legal proceedings in UP courts against the scheduled telecast of The Dirty Picture on Sunday afternoon at a time when optimum kids and youngsters were glued to the IPL matches, two senior members of the censor board re-viewed the film and found that the content needed further toning down before telecast.

However, at this late stage the film's producers Balaji refused to comply. Censor certificate for telecast in hand, Sony Entertainment confidently marched towards a massive eyeball-grabbing telecast on Sunday afternoon and evening.

Apparently, the telecast was stopped minutes before the schedule playing time at 12 noon on the direct intervention of the I & B Ministry.

And now highly-placed sources in the censor board tell us that the whole The Dirty Picture experience would compel the CBFC to revise its policy regarding Adult feature films.

Pankaja Thakur the CEO of the CBFC said that a change in policy regarding the censorship of Adult films for telecast is around the corner:

In view of the court cases and the programme code that has to be followed by all TV programmes including feature films, CBFC would be forced to look at the whole process of cutting adult films to make it palatable for young viewing.

 

25th April   

Extract: Why Janet Jackson's Nipple Won't Go Away...

Half a second of nipple still a major concern to the highest level of American politics
Link Here  full story: FCC TV Censors...FCC wound up by nudity and fleeting expletives

Janet Jackson's nipple The Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court to review a federal court's decision that the FCC acted capriciously in levying huge fines for a 1/2-second nipple shot. In this regard, they are clones of the Bush Administration. And in this regard they are no friend of the American people, no friend of free speech, no friend of freedom.

So why are two successive presidencies, not to mention the national morality apparatus, obsessed with a half-second of nipple? Why are millions more of your tax dollars about to be spent attempting to punish CBS for what they failed to prevent over 8 years ago?

...Read the full article

 

25th April

 Offsite Article: Set a Snoop to Justify a Snoop...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Propaganda machine rolls out the suggestion that snooping on people is somehow ok within some sort of bollox legal framework

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

24th April   

DeadTime...

New UK horror cut by the BBFC
Link Here

Deadtime DVD Leslie Grantham DeadTime is a 2012 UK horror thriller by Tony Jopia. With Laurence Saunders, Carl Coleman and Elisabeth Shahlavi. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 after 12s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 4Digital R2 DVD at UK Amazon for release on 14th May 2012
  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

  • Cuts required to a scene of sexual and sexualised violence, in this case a woman being stabbed between the legs with a blade.

Promotional Material:

Love Meets Murder - the once popular rock'n'metal band, now down on their luck and their careers, seek to create their magnum opus . Locked into a Wednesbury studio for the weekend nobody is able to leave - but before the band have just finished tearing into their new hit, a series of mysterious murders begin to plague them all. Now only their own self-belief can save them from the psychotic mind of their assailant.

Extras:

  • Two Trailers
  • An introduction to the Post Office Studio
  • No Sleep 'til Wednesbury - The Filming of Deadtime

 

24th April   

Update: Searching for Perspective...

Naomi Gummer of Google comments that the extent of sexual content online is exaggerated
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Google logo Naomi Gummer, a public policy analyst at Google, said it was a myth that laws can prevent children from viewing explicit material, because the pace of technological development would render legislation a blunt instrument .

MPs are calling on the Government to introduce an opt-in system which would mean users would be automatically excluded from accessing internet pornography unless they specifically indicated they wanted to view them.

But Miss Gummer said many parents are complicit in allowing their children to view social networking sites despite being too young and only a minority of children had been upset by what they had seen online.

She told a conference of child welfare experts:

The idea that laws can adequately protect young people is a myth. Technology is moving so fast that legislation is a blunt tool for addressing these challenges. But also the truth is that parents are complicit in their kids using underage social networking sites. It is about education, not using legislative leavers.

She added that the extent of sexual content online was exaggerated:

25% of kids have seen sexual images, but only 14% saw them online. Of that, 4% say they were upset by the images, 2% of those images are hard-core and violent and the rest is nudity in the same way as perhaps seen in the offline world.

Meanwhile nanny statist Claire Perry doesn't believe in censorship...BUT...

See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

Clair Perry Claire Perry said:

I am no fan of a nanny state, and as pro-freedom as the next person... BUT...

...Read the full article

 

 

24th April   

Hopefully Inward Looking Too...

EU calls for the monitoring of internet censorship and an export block on companies assisting autocratic regimes
Link Here

European Parliament logo The European Parliament has called for new rules to monitor Internet censorship by autocratic regimes. It voted overwhelmingly in favor of the motion with, 580 votes for, 28 against and 74 abstentions.

British MEP, Richard Howitt, said that new technologies have massive implications for human rights and that the European Union needs a coherent policy: There is a race between those harnessing new media to the purpose of liberation and those who seek to use it for repression.

The resolution calls for the European Commission to come up with new rules by 2013 to improve the monitoring of E.U. exports of technology that can be used to censor or block websites and monitor mobile communications. It also wants more accountability for companies that willfully sell to despotic regimes.

 

24th April   

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo...

New UK DVD and Blu-ray release of David Fincher's remake
Link Here
The Girl With Dragon Tattoo 2011 US/Sweden/UK/Germany crime drama by David Fincher.
With Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara and Christopher Plummer. See IMDb

The Domestic Version was passed 18 uncut for strong sex and sexual violence for:

  • UK 2012 Sony R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 23rd April 2012
  • UK 2012 Sony R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 23rd April 2012

No censorship issues in the UK, but the film was banned in India, Vietnam and the UAE. Japan pixellated the nudity.

 

24th April   

Updated: Religion Based on Eggshells...

Indian court gets involved when easily offended hindus disagree with the film censors
Link Here

ok ok - oru kal oru kannadi A petition has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking direction to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) not to certify films with scenes depicting Hindu sanyasis and spiritual leaders in bad taste and insulting or abusing them.

In its petition, the Hindu Dharma Sakthi also sought a direction to Tamil Film Producers Council and the director of the Tamil film Ok Ok - Oru Kal Oru Kannadi to remove scenes in the movie which supposedly hurt Hindu religious sentiments.

N Devasenathypathy representing Sakthi said in the trailer of the film, which he had seen, the manner in which a seer's character had been created was highly unnecessary. The character was totally disconnected to the movie's main theme, he alleged. The creation of the character was with a mala fide intention to hurt Hindu religious feelings, he claimed.

In a counter affidavit, CBFC Regional Officer V Packirisamy said the board judged a film in its entirety as per the Cinematograph Act and the Centre's guidelines. The contentious scene in the film in no way denigrated or defamed Hinduism. A committee had carefully examined the film and issued the certificate.

Noting that the board had not passed any scene which would hurt religious sentiments, the CBFC said it was not right to comment on the film without seeing it fully.

The court has reserved judgement about the writ.

Update: Ban Refused

24th April 2012. See  article from  thehindu.com

The High Court has dismissed a writ petition by a Hindu organisation seeking to force the film censors at the CBFC to ban any feature film having scenes negatively depicting Hindu religious leaders and spiritual gurus. The petitioner had also asked for a ban of scenes in Ok Ok- Oru Kal Oru Kannadi which supposedly hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus.

In his order, Justice Vinod K. Sharma said that it was not understood how a comic consequence interfered with the freedom of conscience, free profession, practice and propagation of religion to attract the provision.

The Judge said that the film had been certified for universal exhibition. The petitioner, therefore, had the remedy of appeal. The allegations in the petition were vague. Also, in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court, no order as requested could be issued in the petitioner's favour after the film had been certified for exhibition.

 

23rd April   

Update: Same Old Song...

Parliamentary motion querying a lack of action about requiring state censorship of music videos
Link Here  full story: VRA Exempt...Video Recordings (Exemption from Classification) Bill

House of Commons logo Early day motion 2968: Age Ratings For Music Videos

That this House

  • is concerned about the lack of progress being made in the formulation and introduction of age ratings for music videos which currently are exempt from any restrictions in the UK;

  • believes this to be totally unacceptable as many contain material which is often highly inappropriate for children in respect of language, violence and sexual imagery;

  • is alarmed that despite promises made, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has so far failed to even establish a consultation process on this most important matter; and

  • calls on the Government to act quickly to protect children from being exploited by such unacceptable commercial practices.

Primary sponsor: Alan Meale, Labour, Mansfield

Signed by:

  • Peter Bottomley, Conservative, Worthing West
  • Ronnie Campbell, Labour, Blyth Valley
  • Martin Caton, Labour, Gower
  • Katy Clark, Labour, North Ayrshire and Arran
  • Jim Dobbin, Labour, Heywood and Middleton
  • Mark Durkan, Democratic and Labour, Foyle
  • Mike  Hancock, Liberal Democrats, Portsmouth South
  • Margaret Ritchie, Social Democratic and Labour , South Down
  • Steve Rotheram, Labour,  Liverpool Walton
  • David  Simpson, Democratic Unionist, Upper Bann

 

23rd April   

Premature eSpeculation...

France has fun defying a ban on reporting election predictions before the vote closes
Link Here

Twitter logo France's attempts to prevent premature leaks of the first round presidential election results set Twitter alight with jokes, code and cryptic messages recalling Second World War radio communications.

Netherlands-Hungary qualify for return leg, said one tweet in a play on the name of Socialist challenger Francois Hollande and the origin of President Nicolas Sarkozy's father.

Seeking to enforce a 1977 law that imposed a blackout on disclosing results, projections or exit polls before the last polling stations close at 8pm, authorities threatened fines of up to 75,000 euros for breaches.

But official warnings spurred derision and defiance with a profusion of dummy results and fun-poking messages on a microblogging network.

...Read the full article

 

23rd April

 Offsite Article: Don't Blame Video Games for Anders Behring Breivik's Massacre...

Link Here
The backlash against games is misplaced. Yes, their focus is narrow, their themes violent, but they can hardly be held responsible for a troubled mind. By Simon Parkin

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

23rd April

 Offsite Article: From Horrible Histories to Babar the Elephant...

Link Here
Librarians have withdrawn children's books from the shelves following complaints from parents that they were racist, or in some other way offensive.

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

23rd April   

Update: Patriarch for the Fatherland...

Russian church organises mass prayer against the Pussy Riot protestors
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols

patriarch kirill, Tens of thousands prayed outside Moscow's main cathedral on Sunday to show their support for the Russian Orthodox church in a controversy over a punk rock political protest.

Christ the Saviour cathedral was the scene of a brief surprise performance in February by Pussy Riot, a female punk rock group protesting against Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency. Three band members remain in police custody and face up to seven years in jail on charges of hooliganism.

Their treatment has provoked a public outcry and contributed to growing criticism of the church and its close ties to the Kremlin.

Patriarch Kirill has portrayed the punk performance as part of a broader attack on the church. He had called on believers to attend Sunday's service to pray for our faith, our church, our sacred objects and our fatherland . The patriarch has joined the Kremlin in portraying the anti-Putin protest movement as a threat to Russian statehood.

 

23rd April   

Censors Getting Film Distributors Backs Up...

Bare backs found to be harmful to children by the Calcutta High Court
Link Here

hate story Calcutta high court has upheld the censoring of bare-back posters of Paoli Dam in the Vikram Bhatt film Hate Story .

Justice Dipankar Dutta refused to stay the order issued by West Bengal Board of Censorship on Jalan Distributors, the film's distributor. The state censor board had served a notice on the distributor, asking it to display the controversial poster only after the actor's back was painted blue as if wearing a shirt.

Jalan Distributors has petitioned the high court to allow the original poster arguing that since the central censor board had already issued an U/A certificate for the film, a state censor board has no right to interfere with display of the film's posters.

It was argued that no other state in the country had imposed any restriction on display of the film's posters. It was only the West Bengal Censor Board that imposed such a restriction, hindering business from the film.

The state censor board argued against allowing the bare-back poster to be displayed as it would have a bad impact on children.

After hearing both sides, the court refused to stay the state censor board's order.

 

23rd April   

Waking Up to Repression...

Iran jails popular musician over songs supporting opposition protests
Link Here

arya aram nejad A popular Iranian singer who publicly defied regime censorship by releasing pro-opposition songs on the internet has been sentenced to a year in jail.

Arya Aramnejad fell foul of the authorities after singing political songs in condemnation of the regime's crackdown against the Green movement. Aramnejad, whose works are banned inside Iran, initially released two songs in support of the movement during the campaign period before the country's disputed presidential elections in 2009.

In the unrest following the elections, which saw dozens of protesters killed and hundreds arrested, Aramnejad released music that particularly infuriated officials and led to his arrest.

Shortly after the protests, Aramnejad released a song called Ali Barkhiz (Wake-up Ali) , which spoke out against the violent crackdown against the opposition. One version of the song, which made it into a video clip posted on YouTube, has been viewed more than 80,000 times.

Security forces arrested Aramnejad for the first time in February 2010 after his song attracted a great deal of attention. He spent 45 days in solitary confinement before being allowed to contact his family. He was later sentenced to six months, a term he served from November 2011 until recently, when he was allowed out of prison for the Persian new year.

A friend of Aramnejad said: Arya has been recently informed that he has been given a one-year jail sentence for his other songs released since 2010. He's been accused of acting against national security and spreading propaganda against the regime, the friend said.

 

23rd April   

Sexual Disorders Such as Homophobia...

Hungarian far right party introduces three homophobic bills
Link Here

Hungary flag Hard-right politicians in Hungary have introduced measures that would ban public discussion of homosexuality.

In a move similar to those made in St Petersburg recently, a member of the far right Jobbik party has tabled three bills that would ban any positive mention of what the bill describes as sexual disorders such as homosexuality.

Two of the bills are amendments to Hungary's constitution, which would see an outright ban on any public events or speeches that propagate homosexuality, transgenderism or bisexuality.

The third bill would amend laws on advertising and the media to forbid what is claimed to be gay propaganda .

The amendments propose fines of over 500 Euros or jail sentences of up to three years, and eight years in some cases.

The news comes soon after a Budapest municipal court overturning a police ban on the city's Pride March.

Police had refused permission for the march, claiming they could not redirect traffic - despite having no problem doing so for other marches and events along the same route. A similar attempt to ban the Pride March last year was also swiftly overturned by the Metropolitan Court.

 

22nd April   

Update: Heading for 10 Years of Examination of Janet Jackson's Nipple...

FCC ask the US Supreme Court to allow them to impose fines for fleeting nudity
Link Here  full story: FCC TV Censors...FCC wound up by nudity and fleeting expletives
Janet Jackson's nipple The US TV censors of the Federal Communications Commission has asked the Supreme Court to review a lower court's decision to rescind the $550,000 fine the FCC gave CBS after the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004.

In January, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals denied a full-court rehearing of the 2011 decision by a three-judge panel that the FCC's fine of CBS stations was arbitrary and was a policy change for which CBS stations were improperly penalized.

The FCC said in its petition that the court should not have found that its indecency policy was an arbitrary and capricious departure from precedent.

 

22nd April   

Body Puzzle...

New US DVD release of Lamberto Bava's Body Puzzle
Link Here

Body Puzzle Region Import NTSC Body Puzzle is a 1992 Italy horror thriller by Lamberto Bava. With Joanna Pacula, Tomas Arana and François Montagut. See IMDb .

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

UK: Last seen when passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 1996 Arthouse Productions VHS

Promotional Material:

A serial killer collecting body parts doesn't plan to stop the bloodshed until he gets them all. Strange clues left at each murder all seem to point to a beautiful woman, but is she the next victim or the maniac responsible for the killings?

Chilling suspenser stars Joanna Pacula and was directed by Lamberto Bava.

  • Widescreen;
  • Soundtrack: Italian;
  • Subtitles: English;
  • Extras: Interview in Italian with English subtitles.

 

21st April   

Update: Hopefully Not Pissing in the Wind...

UK adult industry looking to get UK's police censors to abide by the Peacock court case which cleared fisting and urolagnia videos of obscenity
Link Here  full story: Obscenity in the UK...Gay fisting, urolagnia and BDSM found not obscene by jury

R18 Story Jerry Barnett of Strictly Broadband, the UK's leading adult VOD service, is looking to get UK's adult trade industry to put up a fight against the repressive influence of (militant) feminist groups, often under the banner/accusation of objectification .

In particular, Barnett proposes three particular fronts. Firstly to oppose default website blocking in the name of child protection, secondly, to oppose ATVOD's suffocatingly restrictive ruled for adult video websites.

Thirdly, following the Peacock obscenity case, in which material that the UK's CPS claimed was obscene was held not to be by a jury, Barnett is now planning a formal challenge to the British Board of Film Classification.

This will involve producing a film that includes the material that was found NOT unlawful, and using the subsequent court case as a means to rewrite obscenity law.

 

21st April   

Update: Christians Not Above the Law...

Court tells London Christian Radio to abide by the law banning political advertising
Link Here

Old Bailey A judge declares a Christian radio ad to be political and hence correctly banned.

The proposed 30-second advert for Premier Christian Radio called on listeners to report their experiences of being marginalised in the workplace. It was blocked by the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC), because it was directed to a political end .

London Christian Radio Ltd, which runs Premier, a national station, won a judicial review to challenge the ruling, describing the advert as about the most inoffensive proposed ad one could hope to get .

James Dingemans QC argued that if the advert was in breach of the 2003 Communications Act, which banned political advertising, then the relevant sections of the Act should be declared incompatible with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects freedom of expression.

However, Mr Justice Silber, sitting in London, ruled that Article 10 had not been breached and that the RACC decision was both rational and lawful . He declared the ad to be political as it was intended to obtain information in a bid to try to make changes to society .

Peter Kerridge, chief executive of London Christian Radio and the Premier media group, described the ruling as wholly reminiscent of a totalitarian state and said an application would be made to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

 

21st April   

Negativity Censor...

Islamic Nations to launch international TV censor to promote positive images of the muslim world
Link Here
OIC flag A Turkish proposal to establish a broadcasting censor among 57 Muslim countries has been officially approved at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference in Gabon.

The decision effectively empowers the OIC with new tools to promote broadcasting of a positive image of the Muslim world on member countries' television channels. It will be officially named The OIC Broadcast Regulatory Authorities Forum.

The OIC describes the forum as a platform intended to promote coordination, communication and cooperation among the authorities in charge of regulating broadcasting in member states, as well as to enhance the exchange of information, ideas and expertise on issues of common interest in the areas related to the services of the audiovisual media sector.

OIC officials underline that the broadcasting forum will be used in close coordination with a satellite TV channel to be launched under the OIC's name. The OIC will use the international satellite TV station to project the voice of the Muslim world, report on Islamic causes, defend Muslim interests within the framework of Islamic solidarity among OIC member states and stand up to the repeated defamation campaigns against Islam and Muslims.

 

21st April   

Dirty Bastards...

US drink censors ban beer brand name
Link Here  full story: Drink Censors in the US...Objecting to beer labels
dirsty bastard beer You can buy Fat Bastard wine in Alabama, but you'll have to go elsewhere for Dirty Bastard beer.

The state alcoholic beverage control agency have said that it has banned the sale of that brand of beer in the state because of the profanity on its label.

The drink censor's staff members rejected the brand because that parents may not want young people to see rough language on the shelves, said Bob Martin, an attorney with the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

That's the whole reason for the rule, to keep dirty pictures and dirty words away from children, he said. Personally, I believe the staff made the right call.

The censors have drawn up a list of objectionable words that should not appear on product labels, Martin said, and the list includes bastard.

The state allows the sale of Fat Bastard wine as the name was cleared before the age of PC nonsense. Martin said the agency considered revoking those earlier approvals when it denied the application for Dirty Bastard, but officials decided against such action.

 

21st April   

Conversation Piece...

New US DVD and Blu-ray release of Luchino Visconti classic
Link Here

Conversation Gruppo Famiglia Blu ray Import Conversation Piece is a 1974 Italy/France drama by Luchino Visconti. With Burt Lancaster, Helmut Berger and Silvana Mangano. See IMDb

A presumably uncut re-mastered version is MPAA Unrated for:

Promotional Material:

The setting for Conversation Piece is a handsome old Roman palazzo owned by a Professor (Burt Lancaster), an aging, American-born, Roman bred art historian who devotes his life to his books, his paintings, and his stereo recordings of Mozart. His life is turned upside down when his house and his intellectual life is invaded by a rich, pushy, overdressed marquesa, played by Silvana Mangano, the wife of a Fascist industrialist, and her teen-age daughter (Claudia Marsani), her young German lover (Helmut Berger) and her daughter's lover (Stefano Patrizi). These four characters are able to persuade the Professor to lease them his upstairs apartment for a year and what unfolds is a truly revealing exploration of the idle rich and the humble intellectual.

Previously cut by the BBFC

Previously a pre-cut version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts after 1 cinema cut waived for:

  • UK 2003 Arrow R2 DVD

From cuts details on IMDb :

The 2003 DVD submission contained just one use of the word 'cunt' and the BBFC waived that cut. One use of 'cunt' was still missing though.

Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1975 cinema release

From IMDb:

  • The BBFC cut 2 uses of the word 'cunt'

 

21st April

 Offsite Comment: Should the media censor Anders Behring Breivik?...

Link Here
Trial gives an opportunity for Breivik to air his views to a wide audience

See article from smh.com.au

 

21st April

 Offsite Article: Addicted to Blame...

Link Here
A parent who allows her 11-year old son unlimited, unrestricted and unsupervised access to the internet, without taking rudimentary precautions, goes running to the papers claiming porn addiction

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

20th April   

King of New York...

New Arrow UK Dual Format releases of the Abel Ferrara classic
Link Here

Limited Edition SteelBook Format Blu ray King of New York is a 1990 US crime drama by Abel Ferrara. With Christopher Walken, David Caruso and Laurence Fishburne. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence and hard drug use:

  • UK 2012 Arrow Limited Edition Steelbook R2 DVD/RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon
  • UK 2012 Arrow R2 DVD/RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon for release on 25th June 2012

Promotional material:

Where Scarface Left Off... King Of New York Begins

Christopher Walken is out of prison and back on the dirty streets of New York as convicted drug lord Frank White in a pitch black 90s crime classic from the magnificently disreputable Abel Ferrara (Driller Killer, Ms.45).

White returns to his old patch to finds it in disarray as the parasites that moved in to capture his business don't share in the same Robin Hood spirit. Soon he's violently taking out the competition, stealing their stashes and turning a healthy profit on the gear, putting it towards building a new South Bronx hospital.

But you can't make an omelette without breaking some heads. As the street killings rise and the corrupt cops close in, White's crazed mix of criminal psychosis and heartfelt charity threatens to tear apart everything he's fought so hard to build...

Features:

  • Collector's booklet featuring writing on the film by Brad Stevens, author of Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision
  • High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD Presentation of the film
  • Optional 5.1 / 2.0 Stereo Audio TBC
  • Audio commentary with director Abel Ferrara
  • Audio commentary with composer Joe Delia, producer Mary Kane, casting director Randy Sabusawa and editor Anthony Redman
  • Brand new interview with director Abel Ferrara TBC
  • Interview with producer Augusto Caminito
  • Abel Ferrara: Not Guilty: Documentary on Abel Ferrara from the French TV show Cine'astes de Notre Temps
  • A Short Film about the Long Career of Abel Ferrara: This documentary looks at Abel Ferrara's career including interviews with his key collaborators
  • Dual Format Edition comes with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly designed artwork by The Dude Designs
  • Limited Edition SteelBook comes with newly designed artwork by The Dude Designs.

 

20th April   

One Million Nutter Moms...

Whinge at clothing catalogue image of models kissing
Link Here

urban outfitters Nutters are up in arms over a recent Urban Outfitters catalog that features a shot of two ladies locking lips.

Christian group One Million Moms posted a call for action against the clothing company on its website, calling the photo offensive and inappropriate for a teen:

WARNING! The April 2012 catalog from Urban Outfitters has begun arriving in home mailboxes the last couple of days. On page 2 of this catalog there is a picture of two women kissing in a face holding embrace!

The group urges parents to trash their kids' catalogs and is pushing for Urban Outfitters to retract the ad and release a statement of apology.

 

20th April   

No Thanks to Capital FM...

One Direction censored by radio station over awards speech gaffe
Link Here
Up All Night One Direction Two months after thanking Radio 1 during a BRIT Awards acceptance speech, boyband One Direction's songs are still not being played by the UK's biggest commercial radio group.

Global Radio's Capital FM and Heart brands haven't aired music by the group since Harry Styles mentioned their BBC rival while accepting an award voted for by Capital listeners.

Radio Today understands Global Executive President and Founder Ashley Tabor was far from impressed after the gaffe on 21st February at the O2 Arena, and placed an immediate ban on mentions of One Direction or plays of their songs on air.

After the gaffe became national news, One Direction issued a statement apologising for forgetting to thank Capital FM listeners.

 

20th April   

Extract: Free speech haven or lawless cesspool...

Can the internet be civilised?
Link Here

southwark council logo When a south London teenager uploaded a series of amateur rap videos to YouTube, he had no reason to believe they would make legal history.

But the videos, a vivid account of life on the road in Peckham for a young black male, quickly gained millions of views. In one, 18-year-old Matt raps about stabbing, saying: You're always chatting on, you should feel a piece of the knife, stabbing in your head, stabbing in your chest.

In another video, teenagers make gestures and call out gang names. It was not long before the authorities took notice: last year Matt became the first person in England and Wales to be banned by law from producing music or videos that encourage violence.

Southwark council, which took out the injunction against Matt, believes YouTube has become the new playground for gang members. By all means we want people to use social media, but we do not want you to use it in ways that will incite violence, said Jonathan Toy, Southwark council's head of community safety. This remains a big issue for us and without some form of censorship purely focusing on [violent videos], I'm not sure how we can address it.

...Read the full article

 

20th April

 Offsite Article: From the BBFC Archive...

Link Here
What the Censor Saw in 1923

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

20th April

 Offsite Article: BBFC Merchandise Celebrating 100 Years of Film Censorship...

Link Here
Including the BBFC Mug (Passed 12A for strong caffeine use)

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

20th April   

Real Sex Censorship...

Uzbekistan increases penalties for the production and distribution of porn
Link Here
Uzbekistan Amendments to the Criminal Code relating to the promotion of violence, cruelty and pornography, have come into force in Uzbekistan.

The amendments were approved by the lower chamber of the Uzbek parliament on March 6, approved by the Senate on March 23 and have now been signed by President Islam Karimov.

Amendments made to two Codes increase the penalties for the production, importation, distribution, promotion and exhibition of pornographic materials. The offences now carry large fines and up to 3 years jail for repeat offenders.

Pornography is defined as images of sexual organs or images of real sex. There are exceptions for material of artistic value, or with scientific, medical or educational purpose.

 

19th April   

Update: Googling for More Censorship...

Attorney General agrees with the idea of extending privacy injunctions to include internet companies
Link Here  full story: Privacy Injunctions...Celebrity privacy court injuctions increase

Dominic Grieve Attorney General Dominic Grieve has described as an common sense a suggestion by MPs and peers that privacy injunctions should routinely be served on internet companies, as well as newspapers and broadcasters. Grieve told the Guardian:

That certainly seems to me an interesting suggestion. The interesting question is seems to me is, if this should be done on a more routine basis, then that seems to have some force. It is very wise; it's a suggestion of ordinary common sense

If a breach [of a court order] is brought to their attention then they will take action. But they can't act as a policeman on their network; I don't think that's necessarily helpful. They do need to act responsibly and clearly need to abide by the laws of the land.

His intervention comes after a cross-party committee of MPs and peers urged the government to force Google to remove material banned by courts if it is not prepared to do so voluntarily.

The report, published last month by the privacy and injunctions committee, also urged Grieve to be more willing to take action against people who breach injunctions online, as happened with Ryan Giggs over his alleged affair with a reality TV star.

 

19th April   

Update: Fine Words But Rotten Censors...

Ofcom make a submission to the Leveson Inquiry advocating industry self regulation
Link Here  full story: Leveson Inquiry...Considering UK press censorship and regulation

Ofcom logo In a paper submitted to the Leveson inquiry, the TV and radio censor, Ofcom, said reform of press regulation can be achieved if the body which takes over from the Press Complaints Commission is set up with a more robust framework and the power to impose proper sanctions on errant newspapers. Ofcom added:

Properly constituted, effective and independent self-regulation could be the basis of a new model of press regulation.

But the censor said that in order for self-regulation to work certain elements of the new regime, such as rules governing membership, may need to be recognised by a statute.

In the areas of membership and governance, there could be concerns about whether self-regulation would be sufficient to develop a system with genuine legitimacy and capable of building public trust. A minimal enabling statute -- or recognition in statute -- could be necessary in these areas.

 

19th April   

Comment: Perry and the Blockheads...

Claire Perry's parliamentary inquiry reiterates her call for a default ISP block on adult content
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Clair Perry Claire Perry's parliamentary inquiry sponsored by Premier Christian Media has reiterated her call for a default ISP block on adult content.

Anyone wanting to view hardcore images online [or any other adult content such as Melon Farmers] would have to opt out of the default blocking, according to a panel of MPs and peers looking into child protection.

Their report said that six out of ten children download adult material because their parents have not installed filters. The use of blocking filters in homes has fallen from 49% to 39% in the last three years.

They concluded that parents were often outsmarted by their web-savvy children and felt unconfident in updating and downloading content filters. Many parents were oblivious to the type of material available on the internet and were often 'shocked' when they realised the content that children were accessing.

Claire Perry, the Tory MP who chaired the non-governmental Parliamentary Inquiry on Online Child Protection, said:

This is hugely worrying. While parents should be responsible for their children's online safety, in practice, people find it difficult to put content filters on the plethora of internet-enabled devices in their homes.

The inquiry called for ISPs to offer one-click filtering for all devices within a year. This would block out adult content for all domestic broadband users and stop them accessing pornography on mobiles and iPads as well as PCs and laptops.

The inquiry said that the Government should launch an official inquiry into internet filtering and ministers should seek backstop legal powers to intervene should the ISPs fail to implement an appropriate solution .

Carefully selected witnesses before the inquiry pointed to changes in the availability of hard-core images: As a result, more hard-core imagery is now available in the "free shop front" of commercial porn sites, the report said. It also found that only 3% of porn sites asked for proof of age and 66% did not contain any warning that they were for adults only.

Comment: Claire Perry's default blocking would censor adults and fail children

19th April 2012. See  article from  openrightsgroup.org

Open Rights Group logo Commenting on Claire Perry's committee findings, Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:

These recommendations, if enacted, would endanger children, create disruption for small business, and would not work technically.

Default filtering is a form of censorship. Adults should not have to opt out of censorship. Governments should not be given powers to default censor legal material that adults see online.

Our work on mobile networks is showing that default censorship is disrupting businesses, campaign groups and bloggers. Yet it is trivial for a child to avoid the network blocking that Claire Perry recommends - sites using https are invisible to network blocks. Furthermore, default blocks may be appropriate for some older children, but too weak for others.

Parents need help, but 'default blocking' is an appalling proposal.

Comment: And for a little light relief, why not try the Daily Mail. They do a Jackson Pollox, throwing all sorts of negative terms at an empty canvas, to see what mess it makes

19th April 2012. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

Daily Mail logo Miranda Suit, founder of campaign group Safermedia, told the inquiry:

This generation is going through an experiment. No one knows how they will survive this unprecedented assault on their sexual development. They are guinea pigs for the next generation.

These broadband providers are making massive money from the internet. They should not be making money from our teenagers future sexual health.'

...Read the full article

 

19th April   

Updated: Censor and Proud...

London mayor bans anti-gay bus adverts
Link Here

core issues trust advert The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, intervened to prevent a Christian advertising campaign from promoting the idea that gay people can be converted to heterosexuality.

The advert was due to say: Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!

A few days before the ads were due to appear on buses Johnson ordered his transport chiefs to pull the adverts booked by two Anglican groups following 'outrage' among gay campaigners and politicians saying that they were homophobic. Johnson said:

London is one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance. It is clearly offensive to suggest that being gay is an illness that someone recovers from and I am not prepared to have that suggestion driven around London on our buses.

The adverts were booked on behalf of the Core Issues Trust whose leader, Mike Davidson, claims homoerotic behaviour is sinful . His charity funds reparative therapy for gay Christians, which it claims can develop their heterosexual potential . The campaign was also backed by Anglican Mainstream , a worldwide Anglican group.

The Christian groups insisted the advert had been cleared with Transport for London (TfL). Davidson said:

I didn't realise censorship was in place. We went through the correct channels and we were encouraged by the bus company to go through their procedures. They okayed it and now it has been pulled.

CBS Outdoor, the media company that sells the bus advertising sites, said the ad had been passed for display by the Committee of Advertising Practice.

The campaign was an explicit attempt to hit back at the gay rights group Stonewall, which as part of its lobbying for the extension of marriage to gay couples is running its own bus adverts saying: Some people are gay. Get over it. The Christian groups used the same black, red and white colour scheme as Stonewall and in a statement announcing the campaign accused it of promoting the false idea that there is indisputable scientific evidence that people are born gay .

Update: Asserting the right of freedom of expression to badmouth gays

14th April 2012.  Via article from  bbc.co.uk

A Christian group which had its advertisement pulled from London buses after it was described as anti-gay has said it is considering legal action.

TfL had said the advert was not consistent with its commitment to a tolerant city.

Anglican Mainstream has instructed a law firm to look at whether Transport for London (TfL) acted illegally when it scrapped the adverts. It said it wanted to know what happened to its contract with TfL for the ads, which implied people could be ex-gay .

Tom Ellis from legal firm Aughton Ainsworth said he was going to examine whether the ban was a breach of contract and the group's right to freedom of expression.

Update: Don’t ban it. Get over it!

18th April 2012. See  article from  spiked-online.com by Luke Samuel

Spiked logo The banning of silly Christian bus adverts reveals the contempt in which the mayor holds ordinary Londoners.

Last week, Boris Johnson, the perennially silly mayor of London, announced that he would ban a planned series of posters on London buses which shouted: NOT GAY! EX-GAY, POST-GAY AND PROUD. GET OVER IT! The message was penned by the Christian campaign group, the Core Issues Trust, which believes that homosexuality is curable through therapy and religious teaching.

...Read the full article

Update: Boris Johnson explains that his advert censorship was all about the politics of avoiding offence and backlashes

It seems that he thought he was doing both sides a favour, preventing gays from being easily offended, and preventing the religious nutters from making an arsehole of themselves.

18th April 2012. See  article from  guardian.co.uk

Borsi Johnson Boris Johnson has said that he feared that there would have been an intense backlash if he had allowed a Christian advertising campaign promoting the idea that gay people can be converted to heterosexuality to be plastered on London's buses.

He talked about his decision to censor the posters as he took part in a mayoral debate jointly organised by London Church Leaders, Faith to Engage, and the Evangelical Alliance.

He said that he made his decision not only because he thought an advert which suggested that gay people could be cured was likely to cause great offence , but also because of the possible reverberations for London's Christian community. Hesaid:

The job of mayor is to unite, the job is to stop prejudice, and actually the backlash would be so intense it would not have been in the interest of Christian people in this city.

Ken Livingstone told the audience that the advert would only have served to reinforce prejudice:

In my view Boris was right to pull them.

 

19th April   

The Australian Sex Party...

A party doing very well down under
Link Here

fiona patton campaign car If Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is worried by his party's poor showing in the polls, he might be advised to take some tips from another fairly liberal leader currently doing rather better down under.

Two weeks ago, Fiona Patten, convenor of the Australian Sex Party, celebrated her party's breakthrough into double digits, when they scored 10% of the vote in a Victoria state contest. This is approximately 2% better than polls are currently placing the UK's Lib Dems!

Fiona is in the UK this weekend delivering a keynote address to an academic conference, Onscenity, which is dedicated to exploring the new visibility of sex in commerce, culture and everyday life.

Her message is simple: small parties can make a difference. They need to make a difference. Fiona explains:

Proportional representation and very similar showing by the two main parties means that the Australian parliament has been hijacked by the religious right.

With just a small proportion of the votes, and rarely more than one or two seats nationally, parties with a religious or family values agenda have stalled a great deal of social reform in both major parties.

Our clear objective, in the Australian Sex Party, is to use the same system to give voice to the vast majority of Australian men and women who believe in allowing adults to be adults, and are sick and tired of being lectured to by a nanny legislature.

As a former sex worker and Chief Executive of the Eros adult trade association, Fiona is no stranger to controversy. However, her commitment to political change is serious, and despite adding a slight edge to Australian politics, the Sex Party's agenda is equally serious and unlikely to look out of place in many European states.

Their policies include a commitment to sex education in schools, as well as advocating a range of rights for women and members of other minority groups which are now taken for granted in most western nations.

 

18th April   

Elfie Hopkins...

Cut by the BBFC for a 15 rated UK cinema release
Link Here

Elfie Hopkins DVD Jaime Winstone Elfie Hopkins is a 2012 UK horror thriller by Ryan Andrews. With Ray Winstone, Jaime Winstone and Kimberley Nixon. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 for strong violence, language and soft drug use after 6s of BBFC cuts for category for:

  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

Company chose to make reductions in two scenes of bloody violence in order to achieve a 15 classification:

  • A man being stabbed repeatedly with a knife (the number of stabs was significantly reduced)

  • In one scene a man is shot in the head, resulting in a brief explosion of blood and gore. (the shot in question is extremely fleeting, having been reduced by cuts)

An uncut 18 classification was available.

Promotional Material:

Elfie Hopkins, a 22 year-old animal-loving slacker, stoner, and wannabe detective, lives in a sleepy hunting village. Haunted by the death of her mother, Elfie seeks solace and inspiration from the old school detectives in The Maltese Falcon and Chinatown. She entertains herself, along with her geeky best friend, Dylan, by investigating the villagers and upsetting everyone with their imaginative allegations. Things get serious however with the arrival of a family of trendy city dwellers, the Gammons, who weave seductive tales of adventure and entice the villagers with offers of exotic hunting holidays around the world. Despite not being immune to the Gammons charms, Elfie soon smells a rat, and snaps into full detective mode. Her mundane existence is about to be blown apart. Blood quickly starts to spill in the village, and it s no longer just the blood of animals. Elfie discovers the villagers are not making those flights and when she finally uncovers the truth, it s darker than she could ever have imagined...

 

18th April   

Extract: Something for Big Brothers Clegg and Cameron to Think About...

Tim Berners-Lee warns of the power that snoopers will have over people when monitoring their internet use and communications
Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

tim berners-lee Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who serves as an adviser to the government on how to make public data more accessible, says the extension of the state's surveillance powers would be a destruction of human rights and would make a huge amount of highly intimate information vulnerable to theft or release by corrupt officials. In an interview with the Guardian, Berners-Lee said:

The amount of control you have over somebody if you can monitor internet activity is amazing.

You get to know every detail, you get to know, in a way, more intimate details about their life than any person that they talk to because often people will confide in the internet as they find their way through medical websites ... or as an adolescent finds their way through a website about homosexuality, wondering what they are and whether they should talk to people about it.

The British computer engineer, who devised the system that allows the creation of websites and links, said that of all the recent developments on the internet, it was moves by governments to control or spy on the internet that keep me up most at night .

He said that if the government believed it was essential to collect this kind of sensitive data about individuals, it would have to establish a very strong independent body which would be able to investigate every use of the surveillance powers to establish whether the target did pose a threat, and whether the intrusion had produced valuable evidence. But he said that since the coalition had not spelled out an oversight regime, or how the data could be safely stored, the most important thing to do is to stop the bill as it is at the moment .

...Read the full article

 

18th April   

Mardock Scramble...

Director's Cut of noted anime released on UK DVD/Blu-ray
Link Here

Mardock Scramble The First Compression Mardock Scramble is a 2010 Japan anime by Susumu Kudo. With Megumi Hayashibara, Norito Yashima, Hiroki Touchi. See IMDb

UK: The Director's Cut was passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Kase SAS/Manga Entertainment video [Director's Cut+Theatrical Cut] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 16th April 2012
  • UK 2012 Kase SAS/Manga Entertainment video [Director's Cut+Theatrical Cut] R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 16th April 2012

Promotional Material:

In a futuristic society, a 15-year-old prostitute named Rune Balot is rescued after being nearly killed. She is subconsciously given the choice to continue living due to an emergency ordinance to preserve life called Mardock Scramble 09. Turned into a cyborg, Balot is then given the choice of assisting the investigations against the man who tried to terminate her. He is part of the powerful October corporation that is stealthily conducting illegal activities.

Contains both the Director's Cut and cut Theatrical Cut.

 

18th April   

The Divide...

UK looks set for a short R Rated version whilst the US is getting the uncut Unrated Version
Link Here
The Divide Blu ray DVD Combo The Divide is a 2011 Germany/US/Canada Sci-Fi horror by Xavier Gens. With Lauren German, Michael Biehn and Milo Ventimiglia. See IMDb

UK: The cut R Rated Version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 Technicolor/Momentum R2 DVD for release on 30th April 2012
  • UK 2012 cinema release

It looks like the UK is being palmed off with the cut R Rated Version for the upcoming DVD release. The UK release is runs for about 108 minutes compared with 117 minutes [PAL equivalent] for the US release.

Perhaps the UK distributors are planning something better for a later Blu-ray release.

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 Anchor Bay Blu-ray/R1 DVD at US Amazon for release on 17th April 2012
  • US 2012 Anchor Bay R1 DVD at US Amazon for release on 17th April 2012

 

18th April   

Party Pooper...

ASA dismiss whinge about a party pack of alcoholic drinks
Link Here

livingsocial logo An alcohol sales promotion on www.livingsocial.com, visited on 11 November 2011, stated 'Boys' Night In' with 12 Beers, Bottle of Vodka, Mixer, and Two Packs of Pringles, with Delivery ( 21), or Two Bottles White Wine, Bottle of Vodka, Mixer, and Two Packs of Pringles, with Delivery ( 23) ... Wouldn't parties be better if you could magically summon supplies? Well today's wizard deal from After Shottz will let you do just that with a 'Girls' Night In', or 'Boys' Night In' delivered to your door (within PO postcodes). If you fancy a spell of fun with the lads or the ladies, After Shottz will wave their wands and deliver all you need for a supernaturally good time. For just 21 the boys will receive 12 550ml cans of beer, a 70cl bottle of vodka, a two-litre bottle of mixer, and two packs of Pringles (a 46 value). While girls can treat themselves to two bottles of white wine, a 70cl bottle of vodka and a two-litre bottle of mixer, and two packs of Pringles for just 23 (a 46 value). After Shottz supplied parties are the stuff of legend so grab today's deal and conjure up all the ingredients for a perfect boys' or girls' night in - no need to say 'abracadabra' .

A complainant challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible, because it encouraged excessive drinking.

ASA Decision: Complaint not upheld

The ASA noted that the promotion offered the ingredients for a perfect boys' or girls' night in and stated Wouldn't parties be better if you could magically summon supplies? . We noted that the boys' package offered beer and the girls' package offered white wine, and considered that the references to boys' night in or girls' night in were primarily intended to describe the type of alcohol available in the respective packages. We noted that there was a limit of one voucher per group and considered that the offer targeted people throwing parties in their homes, rather than at individual drinkers and that the ad focused on how supplies for a house party could be conveniently delivered to the party location. We considered that the language used in the ad was generally measured and did not refer to, or overtly encourage, excessive drinking.

Because we considered that the promotion was targeting parties, where the pack would be divided between and consumed by a group of people, and because we considered that the language used in the ad was measured, we concluded the ad did not encourage excessive drinking, and was not socially irresponsible.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code  rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising), 18.1, 18.3 and 18.10 (Alcohol), but did not find it in breach.

 

18th April

 Offsite Article: Battle for the Internet...

Link Here
Internet censorship listed: how does each country compare?

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

18th April   

Updated: Tragically Banned...

Thailand's film censors ban Shakespeare Must Die based on Macbeth
Link Here

shakespeare must die A new Thai film based on William Shakespeare's, Macbeth , has been banned by censors on the grounds that its content may cause disunity among the people.

Shakespeare Tong Tai , or Shakespeare Must Die , is directed by Ing K and Manit Sriwanichpoom.

The film is the first Thai rendition of Macbeth, a bloodstained tragedy in which a Scottish general, with the help of his insidious wife, assassinates a king to pave his way to the throne.

The film includes a contemporary allegory about a fictitious nation where a popular politician rises up the echelons of power.

A document from the Ministry of Culture's Office of Film and Video says that since the film undermines the unity of people in the country , the censorship committee refuses to give permission to screen it in Thailand. The committee that banned the film was chaired by Police Major General Anek Samplang.

The film-makers will appeal against the decision.

Shakespeare Must Die runs for 178 minutes and was partly funded by the Ministry of Culture under the 2010 Thai Khem Khaeng stimulus scheme.

Update: Macbeth not quite historical enough

6th April 2012. See  article from  dailyrecord.com

Thaksin Shinawatra Thailand's film censors have banned an adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, claiming it could inflame political passions in the country where it is taboo to criticize the monarchy.

One of the film's main characters is a dictator named Dear Leader, who resembles former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, whose ouster in a 2006 coup sparked years of political turmoil between his supporters and critics.

Ing K., the film's director, said the censorship committee objected to anti-monarchy overtones in the film as well as politically charged content, including a scene based on an iconic photo from Bangkok's 1976 student uprising showing a demonstrator being lynched.

The committee questioned why we wanted to bring back violent pain from the past to make people angry, Ing K. said in an interview. The censors also disliked the attire of a murderer in the film, who wore a bright red hooded cloak, the same color worn by the pro-Thaksin demonstrators known as the Red Shirts.

The director called the ruling absurd and a reflection of the fear in Thai society. She said the character resembling Thaksin could represent any leader accused of corruption and abuse of power: When Cambodians watch this they'll think it's Hun Sen. When Libyans watch it they would think it's Gadhafi.

Ing K. said she plans to appeal the ban.

Offsite: An interview with the director

18th April 2012. See  article from  bangkokpost.com

ing kanjanavanit Why do you think the film has been banned?

It's the climate of fear. Most of us are not fanatics, but we're trapped between fanatics of all stripes and we live in fear. That's why we were banned.

...Read the full article

 

18th April   

Vaguely Repressive...

Vietnam proposes extensive and vague internet censorship rules
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Vietnam...New law requiring websites to delete content
Vietnam flag Google, Facebook, and other Internet companies may be required to censor their content in Vietnam, an overseas group said based on draft regulations that have been released. The new rules will be considered for approval in June.

If adopted, the draft decree, released by the Ministry of Disinformation and Blocked Communications, would require foreign businesses to cooperate with Vietnamese authorities in removing information from their sites.

U.S.-based Viet Tan Reform Party said that the rules, which are the latest in a pattern of sweeping Internet restrictions that are difficult to implement in practice, and harm both technology providers as well as end users:

Like many government directives in Vietnam, the language in this document is vague and ill-defined, leading to multiple interpretations and possible arbitrary implementation by authorities.

Under the rules, foreign companies that provide online social networking platforms in Vietnam must make pledges in writing to follow local censorship laws and remove information, including those that is against the Vietnamese government, damage[s] social and national security [or] promote[s] violence, the newspaper said.

Foreign companies may also have to house data centers in Vietnam, according to Viet Tan, in a move that would force them to obey domestic rules.

The new rules also address individual Internet users, who will be required to use their real names online. Internet companies will be compelled to help the government enforce restrictions like these on individual users, according to Viet Tan.

Bloggers are restricted from engaging in any prohibited online activities and will be held personally liable for all the published content on their blogs.

The new rules further stipulate that news websites must be approved by authorities and adhere to existing local press law, or else risk being shut down, and website administrators must report instances of prohibited online activity to authorities.

 

17th April   

Updated: Rob Roy...

BBFC waive their cuts for a new UK Blu-ray release
Link Here

Rob Roy Blu ray Liam Neeson Rob Roy is a 1995 US/UK action film by Michael Caton-Jones. With Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange and John Hurt. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut with previous BBFC cuts waived for strong violence, sexual violence and sex references for:

  • UK 2012 20th century Fox RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 16th April 2012

Previously cut by the BBFC

Previously passed 15 after 15-24s of BBFC cuts for category for:
  • UK 1999 MGM R2 DVD
  • UK 1998 Warner VHS
  • UK 1995 Warner VHS

The BBFC cuts were:

  • Rape of Jessica Lange was reduced and re-edited for video. The BBFC considered the scene too strong for a 15 and too traumatising for girls of this age.

 

17th April   

Dark Shadows...

BBFC and MPAA rate Tim Burton's comic horror
Link Here

Dark Shadows Poster Teaser Johnny The U.S. rating for Tim Burton's Dark Shadows has been confirmed. The supernatural movie officially secures a PG-13 rating from the MPAA due to comic horror violence, sexual content, some drug use, language and smoking.

Meanwhile the BBFC has similarly passed the film 12A uncut for moderate violence, horror, gore, sex references and soft drug use.

Based on a 1960s' Gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows centers on Barnabas, a wealthy playboy who owns the Collinwood Manor. One day, he made a big mistake of breaking the heart of vengeful witch Angelique, who then turned him into a vampire before burying him alive.

Two centuries later, Barnabas is accidentally freed from his tomb. The vampire returns to his mansion only to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. He must now struggle to restore his family's glorious era while having some run-ins with various monsters, witches, werewolves and ghosts.

The film is set to open at cinemas on 11th May 2012.

 

17th April   

Update: China Recommends...

Free China: The Courage to Believe. China tries diplomatic pressure to get film banned from the Palm Beach International Film Festival
Link Here  full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
free china video A Chinese consulate in the U.S. has contacted the Palm Beach International Film Festival to warn them about a harmful movie they will screen that documents the violent persecution of a Chinese spiritual practice by communist authorities.

The consulate in Houston repeatedly called an organizer of the film festival making inquiries about the film, according to a spokesperson who did not want to be named, in a telephone interview with The Epoch Times: They called asking questions, telling us that they thought it would be potentially harmful to them,

The consular official was told that We're in America, according to the individual, and that the film would be shown nevertheless.

Michael Perlman, the filmmaker, understood the calls from the consulate to be an attempt at censorship:

This brazen attempt to silence free speech and expression of an American citizen in the United States by the Chinese government is dangerous and must be exposed so that these actions will not be repeated.

The documentary that aroused the phone calls is titled Free China: The Courage to Believe , and was directed by artist and activist Michael Perlman. It will be screened publicly for the first time at the Palm Beach International Film Festival on April 14 and 16.

Free China documents the persecution of Falun Gong, a popular Chinese spiritual practice, through the stories of two adherents who have been incarcerated and tortured by Chinese authorities because of their beliefs.

 

17th April   

Judge and Jury...

Hong Kong state censors to continue to act as judge and jury for obscenity prosecutions. However they will be split into 2 teams, the judges and the jurors.
Link Here
Hong Kong flag Retired judges and legal professionals are to be recruited for the Obscene Articles Tribunal panel as authorities seek to inflict higher fines and jail terms on victims of state prosecution.

The second round of a three-month public consultation has been launched to review the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So Kam-leung said one of the proposals includes doubling the fine for obscene article violations to HK$2 million but keeping the maximum jail term unchanged at three years.

Those guilty of indecent article violations may also face stiffer fines of HK$800,000, up from HK$400,000, while a one-year term may await first offenders.

The maximum fine for subsequent convictions will be increased to HK$1.6 million, up from HK$800,000, and the jail term will be raised to two years.

To try and ease justified public fears that freedom of expression may be undermined, retired judges, or those with legal or professional backgrounds, along with adjudicators from different social backgrounds, would be appointed to the statutory classification board.

He said the Judiciary had earlier noted that the set-up of the current tribunal was unsatisfactory as it performed both an administrative function, in classifying articles, and a judicial function, in determining whether an article is obscene or not, in court.

To address the issue, a first option is proposed whereby the administrative and judicial functions performed by the tribunal will be segregated. A statutory classification and appeals board will be established to handle the administrative work of classifying articles while the tribunal itself will focus on its judicial function.

The government also proposed a second option - abolishing the tribunal's administrative function while it continues its judicial role.

 

16th April   

Updated: Maniac Cop...

New Arrowdrome DVD release of William Lustig's classic cult film
Link Here
Maniac Cop Arrowdrom DVD Maniac Cop is a 1988 US action film by William Lustig. With Tom Atkins and Bruce Campbell. See IMDb

The Theatrical Version was passed 18 uncut for:

Previously Cut by the BBFC

The Theatrical Version was passed 18 after 5s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 2000 Synergy R2 DVD
  • UK 1991 Channel 5 VHS
  • UK 1989 Lazer VHS
  • UK 1988 cinema release

The BBFC cuts were:

  • The cut is to the shower scene and involves Robert Z'Dar getting stabbed in the back with a knife. It's a shot of the knife going in and out again
  • Also cuts to the torture of Z'Dar as his face gets carved with a knife.

Promotional material:

Police brutality never felt so good!

Notorious video nasty creator William Lustig and B-Movie legend Larry Cohen return to the dirty streets for a unique high speed collision of the slasher movie and police thriller in Maniac Cop , a blood splattered tale of brutal cop vengeance from beyond the grave.

When reports come in of a man in a police uniform committing gore drenched bloody murder on the city streets, officer Jack Forrest (Bruce Campbell) stands accused. Now, with few friends, powerful enemies and a psychopathic slayer still at large, it’s up to Jack to prove he’s not guilty and bring down the killer.

Now, Arrow video brings the Maniac Cop back from the 80s video vault to stalk the night time streets once more, looking for fresh victims…

DVD Features

  • a reversible sleeve of original artwork

  • a collector’s booklet!

  • an interview with star tom atkins

  • trailer

 

16th April   

Censorship Obsession...

Norwegian film censor's annual report reveals that three films were banned
Link Here

Serbian Film DVD Region NTSC Norwegian Media Authority (Mediatilsynet) banned three movies for sale and show among only four films which were censored.

The three films that were banned were Obsession - Buckstuck , Pure and A Serbian Film , writes TV2.

  • The German Obsession - Buckstuck , which is a sadomasochistic film, was considered to be in violation of Penal Code. We can accept any SM movies, but this went too far, the censor reported. In fact the DVD covers suggests something scatological
     
  • The American Pure is a traditional hardcore movie with extraordinary violence. According to the censor, it was the violence that invoked the ban, not the sex.
     
  • The Serbian Film was banned because it contains violence with the sexualisation of children. Ove Wathne of Mediatilsynet told daily Dagens Naeringsliv that it is usually an ingredient that provides a basis for an assessment of the Authority.

In Norway films are self rated by the distributors. The Norwegian media censors step in on demand, presumably in response to complaints or controversy.

 

16th April   

Update: Blocked Report...

Reporting on the first 2 years of blocking child abuse websites in New Zealand
Link Here

New Zealand flag New Zealand has had an internet blocking system running since March of 2010. New Zealand laudably limits the scope of the blocking to child abuse websites, so is proving uncontroversial and enjoys public support.

Mauricio Freitas of NZ's Geekzone recently trawled through various reports and briefings from the Department of Internal Affairs, the government body responsible for administering the filter. In December 2011, the system had clocked the following stats:

  • Seven ISPs 16.1 million requests blocked (there are multiple requests per page)
  • 415 records in the block list covering 368 unique web sites
  • 25 appeals  presumably claiming unfair blocks

A survey by InternetNZ of 877 Kiwis recently released suggests 66% were in favour of extending the current blocking to include other material . However, the report does not indicate what other material might be.

Almost half were unaware NZ even had internet blocking, while just 19% knew for certain their ISP was applying the blocks. 56% felt the decision to be individually blocked should be voluntary.

Andrew Bowater, Head of Government Relations at Telecom NZ, asked whether the Censorship Compliance Unit can identify whether a person who is being prosecuted has been blocked by the filtering system. Using the hash value of the filtering system's blocking page, Inspectors of Publications now check seized computers to see if it has been blocked by the filtering system. The Department has yet to come across an offender that has been blocked by the filter.

 

16th April   

Extract: Searching for a Free Internet...

Sergey Brin of Google speaks of current threats to internet freedom
Link Here

sergey brin The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

In an interview with the Guardian, Brin warned there were very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world . I am more worried than I have been in the past, he said: It's scary.

The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry's attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of restrictive walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.

...Read the full article

 

16th April

 Offsite Article: A Thorn in the Side of Bexley Council...

Link Here
Man jailed on bolloxed up charges of using the word 'cunt' in a tweet, following a long story of Bexley Council taking extreme actions to hit back at the critical blogger, Sir Olly C

See article from spiderplantland.co.uk

 

16th April

 Offsite Article: Internet Censorship in Russia...

Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
Nervous Kremlin seeks to purge Russia's internet of 'western' influences. Now liberals and gay rights activists are among those feeling the heat from the Kremlin

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

15th April   

Chronicle...

Cut for a 12A rated cinema release but the UK Blu-ray will feature the 15 rated Director's Cut
Link Here

Chronicle Blu ray Digital Michael Jordan Chronicle is a 2012 UK/US Sci-Fi action drama by Josh Trank. With Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan. See IMDb

UK: The Extended Version/Director's Cut was passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox [+Theatrical Version] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon for release on 28th May 2012
UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 15 without BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox [+Director's Cut] RB Blu-ray
  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox R2 DVD

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 12A, for moderate violence, threat, bloody moments and language, after pre-cuts for category suggested by the BBFC were implemented for:

  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

This work was originally seen for advice in an unfinished form. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by making some cuts and visual reductions. When the finished version of the film was submitted for formal classification, cuts had been made in two scenes.

  • Cuts involved the removal of a violent act and subsequent discussion of this, with some bloody focus, reducing focus on bloody injuries, and

  • reducing sight of a character being impaled.

With these changes having been made when the film was formally submitted, it was passed at 12A

 

15th April   

Petition: Nightbreed...

Petitioning for an Extended Cut
Link Here

nightbreed petition The original 126 minute version of Nightbreed was cut down to 102 minutes by distributor 20th Century Fox. They felt that this cut was too long and rather too explicit for an R-rated release.

Also, Barker shot additional scenes with David Cronenberg's Decker character to flesh out his mentality. The excised footage consisted of some very graphic gore during the climax, disturbing images in the monsters' lair and quite a bit of "unnecessary" character development. There were also some strange sexual themes between the monsters and Boone that wound up on the cutting room floor.

The CABAL Cut:

This petition's purpose is to gather signatures of anyone who would like to see & own a new release of Clive Barker's Nightbreed as a restored, extended cut, in DVD or Blu-Ray.

Clive Barker's team at Seraphim Films has assembled a composite cut from several workprints that is the most complete version of the film that has ever been shown.

The composite cut of Nightbreed was screened recently at the Mad Monster Party in North Carolina, on the 24th of March 2012. This was baptized the CABAL cut, and it ran at 2h35 minutes.

...Sign the petition
 

Update: Cabal Cut Set for Release

20th May 2012. See article from movie-censorship.com

In June 2012, there will be the premiere of a 145 minute-long extended cut of Nightbreed, called The Cabal Cut in Los Angeles. As of yet, there's no information regarding a future DVD/BD release

 

15th April   

Extract: Snatching a Quick Glimpse of the BBFC...

The Daily Mail does an article on a few snippets from the BBFC archive
Link Here

Basic Instinct DVD The BBFC refused to cut a single frame of Basic Instinct , which featured knickerless Sharon Stone un-crossing her legs. Instead it was declared a must-see film.

One censor called it a gripping piece of hokum which bounces the eyeballs from the very start with a scorching sex scene .

Criticism that the 1992 thriller, co-starring Michael Douglas, was pornographic was simply brushed aside.

One examiner added: No the plot doesn't bear too much analysis -- but who cares when one is sitting on the edge of the seat for two hours.'

...Read the full article

 

15th April   

A New Chief Sex Object...

Anna van Heeswijk is the new CEO of Object
Link Here

Object logo Object is a nutter campaign group that rant about more or less any form of sex entertainment that is enjoyed by men. The group is amongst the most prominent of those campaigning for a miserable life.

OBJECT's founder and CEO Sasha Rakoff is now retiring citing the need for rest and time with her family.

Anna van Heeswijk has been appointed as the new CEO of Object.

She came to the attention of the press after she gave evidence to the Leveson inquiry about the supposedly sexist portrayal of women in the press. Armed with a catalogue of images published by the Sun, the Sport and the Star, she claimed to be exposing how frequently women are portrayed as sex objects through features like Page Three.

She has said re Page 3:

Our argument and solutions are simple. This type of sexually objectifying material would be restricted on television because of the recognised harms associated with these stereotyped portrayals of women and it would be considered sexual harassment if it was in the workplace. Why is it, then, that they should be printed in mainstream newspapers which are not age-restricted and are sold and displayed at child's eye level?

On lap dancing;

Lap-dancing clubs are often sites of exploitation. They create no-go zones for women who fear walking past them at night and they promote sexist stereotypes of women as sex objects,

And as for prostitution, Van Heeswijk describes this as the;

Ultimate form of objectification.

 

15th April   

Moralists and Nutters...

Call for a US Congressional hearing to explore the supposed harms of pornography
Link Here

Morality in Media logo Morality in Media (MiM) president Patrick Trueman had delivered 5,000 or so letters to Congress calling for a Congressional hearing in either or both the Committee on the Judiciary and Committee on Energy and Commerce to explore the true harms of pornography by bringing together leading medical professionals and researchers on the subject, a hearing that Trueman described as now vitally necessary.

Trueman managed to get 127 like-minded national and well-known leaders to sign the letter with him, including Alliance Defense Fund president Alan Sears, conservative Princeton University Prof. Robert George, Citizens for Community Values president Phil Burress, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, anti-women's rights activist Phyllis Schlafly, anti-Kinsey crusader Judith Reisman, Shelley Lubben and five of her acolytes and a couple of dozen other lesser-known movement conservatives, plus 43 more pages of names of religio-conservative citizens.

 

14th April   

Extract: Taking a Lead from Ireland...

A suggestion that there is simply no need for the VOD industry to waste so much money funding ATVOD
Link Here

Ireland The question is bound to be asked, come the Communications Green Paper, whether ATVOD should now be given a decent burial. What purpose is served by an extra layer of content regulation - whether ATVOD-style co-regulation or a full-blown statutory regulator -- over and above the general law, especially when funded by imposing substantial costs on a small section of industry?

Are there alternatives? The UK government does have to comply with the AVMS Directive, which lays down content requirements specific to TV-like audiovisual services. However those can be enshrined in a few paragraphs of statute, with a sanction such as the ability for a person affected to apply to court for an injunction. That, in conjunction with a voluntary code of conduct, is how the Irish government has implemented the AVMS Directive.

Subjecting on-demand audiovisual services to an appropriately crafted statute would remove the need for a funded regulatory or co-regulatory body and provide a regime much closer to that applicable to most other speech and content, both generally and on the internet.

...Read the full article

 

14th April   

Given the Push...

ASA dismiss whinges about a bra advert
Link Here

hm super push bra advert A TV ad and a digital poster, for H&M's Super Push Bra, viewed in December 2011:

a. The TV ad showed a woman dancing in her underwear. The model looked down at her chest and at the camera. On-screen text stated Super Push Bra 9.99 .

The ad was cleared by Clearcast without a timing restriction.

b. The digital poster featured three separate images of a woman wearing her underwear and each was accompanied by text which stated SUPER PUSH BRA. 9.99 . The first image showed the model in an arced pose with her hands resting behind her head. The model had a playful expression on her face. The second image showed the model with her hands beside her head. Her eyes were shown to be looking towards the advertised product. The third image showed the model in an arced pose. Her eyes were looking directly out from the image and she had a sultry expression on her face.

  1. Three complainants objected that the TV ad was offensive.
  2. Three complainants objected that the TV ad was unsuitable to be broadcast at times when children might be watching.
  3. One complainant objected that the digital poster was indecent and offensive.
  4. One complainant objected that the digital poster was not suitable for display in locations where children could see it.

H & M said the ad showed a bra from their underwear range. They said they had chosen to show the bra on the model to demonstrate the uplifting effect of the bra. They said it was their intention to show the function of the garment in a playful way, but did not intend for the ad to be deemed indecent or offensive.

Clearcast said they did not believe the ad required a timing restriction because the model was not acting in a provocative manner. They said the model was modelling underwear which demonstrated the enhanced cleavage that the bra could achieve. They said the model was shown enjoying herself to uplifting music. In that context, they believed the tone of the ad was fun and playful.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted the ad was for a push-up bra and the model was shown to caress her body, wink and blow a kiss to the viewer. In one scene the model was shown to look towards the advertised product before holding a sustained look directly towards the viewer. The ad did not, however, include any explicit nudity and whilst we understood the ad might be viewed by some as sexually suggestive in nature, in the context of an ad for a bra, we considered it was not overtly sexual. Whilst we recognised that some people might find the ad distasteful, we considered the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated ad (a) under BCAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We acknowledged the complainant's concern that the ad was unsuitable for broadcast when children might be watching. However, as stated in point 1 , we noted the ad did not include any explicit nudity and whilst we understood the ad might be viewed by some as sexually suggestive in nature, in the context of an ad for a bra, we considered it was not overtly sexual.

We therefore considered the ad did not include anything that was likely to cause harm or distress to children or was otherwise unsuitable for them. On that basis, we concluded that the ad was suitable for broadcast without a timing restriction.

On this point, we investigated ad (a) under BCAP Code rule 32.3 (Scheduling of Television and Radio Advertisements) but did not find it in breach.

3. Not upheld

We noted there was no explicit nudity in the ad, and that the ad was for a push-up bra. We considered the nature of the product meant that viewers of the ad were less likely to regard the ad as gratuitous or offensive. We noted the first image showed the model with her hands resting behind her head and with a playful expression on her face. We also noted the second image showed the model with her hands beside her head and her gaze towards the advertised product. We again considered the model's facial expression to be playful. We noted the third image showed the model in an arced pose which accentuated her hip. We considered the pouted lips and the fact that the model was looking directly at the viewer gave the model a sultry expression. Whilst we understood the ads might be viewed by some as mildly sexual in nature and therefore distasteful, we concluded that the images in the ad were playful and were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated ad (b) under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

4. Not upheld

We considered the ad might be viewed by some as mildly sexual in nature. However, we considered that the images were not overtly sexual in nature. We therefore concluded that ad (b) was acceptable for use in outdoor media likely to be seen by children.

On this point, we investigated ad (b) under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.

 

14th April   

Extract: Is the London Book Fair Supporting Chinese Censorship?...

Should a state that bans and censors books and imprisons writers be guest of honour at the 2012 London Book Fair?
Link Here

london book fair 2012 logo Next week the London Book Fair welcomes China, the world's largest publisher by volume, as the 2012 market focus and has teamed up with the British Council to invite around 20 Chinese writers to west London for a series of readings, discussions and talks celebrating the best in Chinese literature. But the writers who make up the delegation and the events at which they'll be speaking have been chosen in consultation with partners including China's General Administration of Press and Publishing (Gapp), whose responsibilities include the censorship of newspapers and publishers. According to writer Ma Jian this makes true cultural exchange impossible, and puts freedom of expression in China under yet more pressure:

For China to be named guest of honour. for the British cultural establishment to be shaking hands with the Chinese head of propaganda, a man responsible for the banning and censoring of books and the imprisonment of writers, is disgraceful.

...Read the full article

 

14th April   

KFC Tsunami Special...

KFC apologises after suggesting going home for a bucket of chicken rather than escaping to the high ground
Link Here
kfc tsunami special

  A KFC Tsunami Special

KFC Thailand has apologisesd for a Facebook Gaffe during the recent tsunami warning.

While millions of people evacuated the Indian Ocean coastline for higher ground, KFC Thailand suggested that they rush home and order a bucket of chicken.

According to the Associated Press, in an inopportune moment KFC posted on its Facebook page:

Let's hurry home and follow the earthquake news. And don't forget to order your favorite KFC menu.

By the time tsunami warnings subsided, hundreds of people began lambasting the company on Thai web pages, prompting the immediate removal of the message. An apology replaced the post, asking for forgiveness for the error.

 

14th April   

Update: Chewing the Fat...

Campaigner vs campaigner as National Obesity Forum whinge at Peta poster
Link Here  full story: Peta...Animal activists challenging the media

peta meat your maker advert A billboard which links death with eating meat has been criticised by the National Obesity Forum (NOF).

The advert from animal rights campaigners, Peta, shows a coffin-shaped pie and asks the question Not ready to meat your maker? . It also recommends veganism in the fight against obesity.

Tam Fry, from the NOF, said the advert was laughable and an attempt to make a point out of others' misfortune. He said it was ridiculous that Gloucester had been targeted because the city was one of the less obese areas in the country:

We want to do all we can to lessen obesity but I do not think it appropriate at all to draw attention to it in this manner.

Yvonne Taylor, from Peta, said the billboard was deigned to highlight a link between meat pies and pasties and obesity and other ailments:

The best thing that coffin dodgers can do for their health and to help animals is to go vegan.

 

14th April   

Police Censorship...

Sudan's press suffers state censorship and economic sanctions
Link Here

Sudan flag Sudanese authorities have a long history of closing newspapers and silencing journalists. But the government security agents who carry out official censorship have launched a new strategy this year that focuses on economic impoverishment--leaving newspapers more vulnerable than ever.

Agents of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) now raid printing presses and confiscate newspapers on grounds that publications are covering topics barred by the NISS. The agency's red lines are numerous, changeable, and ungoverned by law or judicial order. The NISS demands, for example, that newspapers abstain from covering the International Criminal Court, government corruption, human rights violations, Darfur, the war in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, armed movements, and many other subjects.

In the past, the NISS would censor publications in advance by dispatching agents to newsrooms. Officers would read the newspaper in full and order articles be taken out and replaced. In many cases, they would reject the replacement articles too, and halt the printing of the newspaper entirely. The officers would oblige editors to sign a pledge not to publish the censored articles elsewhere, notably online.

The new goal: Censor newspapers and force them to incur heavy financial losses. Agents, for example, have confiscated copies of the newspaper Al-Maidan on several occasions, among them February 21, and March 13, 15, 17 and 18. The newspaper said it lost thousands in revenue each time the printed copies were confiscated.

It's worth noting that the president of the National Council for Press and Publications, the government body officially charged with overseeing newspapers, said in an interview with a local news outlet that the NISS exercises full control over the press. Even his agency is powerless due to NISS encroachment.

 

13th April   

Update: Dangerous Reading...

French cabinet agrees new measures to ban 'regular visits' to websites inciting or praising terrorism
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in France...Web blocking in the name of child protection

France flag France's conservative government has unveiled new counterterrorism measures to punish those who visit extremist websites or travel to weapons-training camps abroad, in the wake of killings by an suspected Islamic extremist in southern France last month.

The measures now go to Parliament, where they may face resistance from the Socialists, who say France's legal arsenal against terrorism is already strong enough and that the proposal is a campaign ploy to boost President Nicolas Sarkozy's chances at a second term.

Sarkozy's Cabinet gave its go-ahead to measures that would make it illegal to travel abroad to indoctrination and weapons-training camps for terrorist ends or to regularly visit websites that incite or praise deadly terrorism.

Sarkozy's government insists the measures are needed to fight the relatively new phenomenon of lone wolf terrorism by extremists who self-radicalize online via jihadist Web sites, and are hard for authorities to track.

 

13th April   

Wogan Rocked the PC Boat...

BBC whinge at Terry Wogan's insensitive quip about the sinking of the Costa Concordia
Link Here

Mustnt Grumble ebook Weekend Wogan
Radio 2, 22 January 2011

A listener complained that humorous references to the sinking of the Costa Concordia by Sir Terry Wogan were offensive and insensitive to those affected by the disaster, and called for a broadcast apology.

BBC Complaints Adjudication: Resolved

The remarks in question (which were made immediately after Rock the Boat had been played as the programme's opening track, and, later, after a news bulletin which included a report related to the disaster) were inappropriate. However, the programme-makers, in response to the complaint, had acknowledged that the remarks, taken together with the selection of the opening track, represented a major failure , had apologised and had discussed how such mistakes could best be avoided in the future. In the view of the Editorial Complaints Unit, this sufficed to resolve the matter.

 

13th April   

Nit Picked Out...

Moldova closes TV station for supposed biased reporting
Link Here

nit tv moldova logo Moldova's state broadcast censor has stripped a pro-communist TV station of its licence, forcing it off air for what it claimed was biased reporting.

The move sparked accusations of censorship and could set back the former Soviet republic's efforts to forge closer ties with the European Union.

The station, NIT, has often criticised the ruling Alliance for European Integration, a group of pro-Western parties that came to power after defeating the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova in 2009.

NIT said it planned to appeal the regulator's ruling via the courts.

 

13th April   

Update: Repression is Normal...

Russians jailed for public display of placards saying 'Homosexuality is Normal'
Link Here  full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights

Russia flag Two Russian men have been arrested for illegally engaging in pro-gay propaganda, in the first-ever enforcement of a homophobic new law that bans making statements supporting homosexuality in public.

Police in St Petersburg arrested the pair as they were standing in a central district of Russia's second-largest city and holding up placards reading Homosexuality is normal. i

This St Petersburg law banning favourable comments about homosexuality is a shame. This law is absolutely discriminatory and it takes away the right to freedom of expression and assembly from citizens of non-traditional orientations, said Tatyana Lokshina, spokeswoman for the NGO Human Rights Watch.

Update: Fined

10th May 2012. See  article from  indexoncensorship.org

Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseyev has been fined 5,000 roubles (104 GBP) under a St. Petersburg law for spreading gay propaganda among minors. The fine was imposed after the court ruled that Alekseyev had spread propaganda about homosexual relations among minors when he held a sign in a public place last month that stated homosexuality was not a perversion. Alekseyev has pledged to appeal the ruling

 

13th April

 Offsite Interview: Business vs Film Censors Inconsistency...

Link Here  full story: Prometheus...Hype about PG-13 vs R
Topic of PG-13 and MPAA film ratings crops up in panel interview with Ridley Scott and the Prometheus team. Not really sure what Scott actually said though. Thanks to Sergio.

See article from heyuguys.co.uk

 

12th April   

Great Bodywork...

Shame about the pathetically politically correct ASA putting a spoke in the works
Link Here

tri uk advert A magazine ad for Triuk bicycle frames, seen in Cycling Plus , stated It all starts with great bodywork and featured an image of a bicycle frame and a naked woman. The woman held one arm up over behind her head, while the other covered her breasts. The text TRIUK covered her from the navel down.

A complainant, who believed that the image was sexist and degrading to women, challenged whether it was offensive.

Triuk said, whilst they were concerned that someone had found their ad offensive, they believed that the ad was not degrading or sexist in any way. They said the ad was a piece of artwork with a friendly tongue-in-cheek caption and had intended to be eye-catching and show the aesthetic features of the bicycle frame. They also said, because 45,000 issues of the magazine that contained the ad had been sent out and Cycling Plus had not received any complaints, and because the use of the female form in the cycling industry was commonplace, they believed that the ad was acceptable.

Cycling Plus said their magazine was read predominantly by men in their 30s to 50s and did not believe that the ad was offensive.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted the ad featured an image of a naked woman and that, although the image was not sexually explicit, it had sexual connotations. We also noted that it bore no relevance to the advertised product and that the text It all starts with great bodywork likened the aesthetic qualities of the woman to those of the product. We therefore considered that, in this context, the image was likely to cause serious offence to some readers of Cycling Plus and concluded that it breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

 

12th April   

Update: Harmonious Ethical Social Environment Bollox...

China censors Kate Winslet's nude scene in Titanic 3D
Link Here  full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids

Titanic DVD Leonardo DiCaprio Chinese film censors have been spouting about ludicrous reasons for cutting Titanic 3D.

Kate Winslet's famous bare-breasted life drawing scene has been censored in a bid to supposedly promote a harmonious ethical social environment , according to China's State of Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) classification board. A SARFT official told Offbeat China:

Considering the vivid 3D effects, we fear that viewers may reach out their hands for a touch and thus interrupt other people's viewing. To avoid potential conflicts between viewers and out of consideration of building a harmonious ethical social environment, we've decided to cut off the nudity scenes.

The nude scene was fully intact in the original Chinese screenings of the film in 1998.

 

11th April   

Motivated by Censorship...

ASA finds that Budweiser radio advert did not follow the PC propaganda line about alcohol
Link Here

grab some buds mets advert A radio ad, for Budweiser beer, heard in December 2011, included a male character, who gave a motivational-style speech during which other male characters cheered. He stated ... gentlemen, there is nothing special about tonight ... tonight is underrated. Tonight is free of expectation. Tonight you cannot be disappointed, it's just another night. That's why tonight could be the greatest night of your life. Because it's on nights like tonight that you end up at a party and you don't know a single person who's carrying you on their shoulders. It's on nights like tonight when you wanna bring your passport, just in case. Gentlemen, you were conceived on a night like tonight. So tonight, before going out for that ice cold Budweiser, you put in that extra two minutes in front of the mirror. Because you never know who you're going to meet ... So raise your bottles of Budweiser high in the air and make a toast to tonight. Now get out there, great times are waiting. Say it with me now ... . The characters all chanted Grab some Buds . A voice-over stated ... for the facts, drinkaware.co.uk. Please drink Budweiser responsibly.

A complainant challenged whether the ad linked alcohol to sexual success.

InBev said Budweiser advertising in the UK drew upon the commonly attributed American values of optimism, free-spiritedness and a positive attitude. They said Budweiser believed that an optimistic outlook and can-do approach to life could bring about the sharing of great times with friends. The radio ad was part of that tradition and was designed to capture the spirit of anticipation.

InBev said that, importantly, there were only two references to alcohol in the ad, which came towards the very end of the coach's speech. The references to Budweiser were independent of the messages delivered in the coach's speech and neither reference was so strong as to directly link its consumption to sexual success or activity, nor did they imply that the consumption of alcohol was essential. They strongly believed the ad complied with the Code.

The RACC said the ad's message was about going out with a positive attitude rather than a message about going out and drinking or drinking being linked with sexual activity, sexual success, seduction or enhanced attractiveness. The ad was one in a series that focused on having the night of your life , which was deliberately bigged up and described in a consciously exaggerated manner for dramatic effect. They did not believe there was any link between alcohol and sexual success.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted the ad was intended to capture a positive attitude and enjoyment of time spent with friends. We considered, however, the tone of the ad was such that it was likely to be interpreted as reflecting a sense of anticipation ahead of an evening where alcohol would be drunk. We noted the ad included the references ... before going out for that ice cold Budweiser ... , ... So raise your bottles of Budweiser high in the air and make a toast to tonight ... and featured the group chanting Grab some Buds . We also noted the speech-giver encouraged the members of the group to make additional effort in getting ready for the evening, even though there was nothing remarkable about it, by putting ... in that extra two minutes in front of the mirror , because they did not know who they were going to meet. We noted it was suggested that it was on such nights that unexpected and significant events, including conception, could take place. We considered the ad was likely to be understood as suggesting the group was preparing for an evening where alcohol would be drunk and during which the participants would have a great time, including the possibility of meeting a potential sexual partner. We considered the ad linked alcohol to sexual success and therefore concluded that it breached the Code.

The ad breached BCAP Code rule 19.6 (Alcohol).

 

11th April   

Censors on the Throne...

Game of Thrones censored in mid episode in UAE
Link Here

Game Thrones Season 1 DVD An episode of Game of Thrones was cut midway through transmission after Etisalat, which runs the eVision television service, deemed it unsuitable.

Viewers were left with blank screens after the show was pulled off air, with many angry at the lack of explanation for the cut.

Game of Thrones, a medieval fantasy series created for the US network HBO, features nudity, sex scenes and swearing. The second series of the show is airing on the OSN First channel, broadcast by the Dubai-based Orbit Showtime Network.

It was broadcast with minimal editing on OSN's satellite service. But OSN channels are also carried by Etisalat's eVision service. Humaid Al Suwaidi, the chief executive of eVision, confirmed the show was dropped due to the nudity:

Those shows are not really suitable for the family because of the nudity scenes.. This is a decision as per the prevailing law in the country.

One western expatriate in Abu Dhabi said the broadcaster had shown the first series of Game of Thrones, plus shows such as Rome and The Sopranos , which also feature some sexual content.

Etisalat's rival, du, said it had not blocked Game of Thrones:

We do not block any OSN content, as users subscribe to their pay TV channels to view certain programmes, said a spokesman. We offer [a] parental control facility to our TV viewers through which customers are empowered to block TV content such as Game of Thrones on their own.

OSN makes only minimal cuts to series or films broadcast on its own channels. But many free-to-air broadcasters, such as MBC, heavily censor content.

 

11th April   

Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except...

New US All Region Blu-ray/DVD release of Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except...
Link Here

Shalt Kill Except Blu ray Combo Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except (aka Stryker's War ) is a 1985 US action film by Josh Becker. With Robert Rickman, John Manfredi and Timothy Patrick Quill. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

UK:  Never released

Promotional Material:

Vietnam, 1969. War is Hell. For Marine Sergeant Jack Stryker (Brian Schulz), however, Hell is just the beginning. Trapped outside a Viet Cong village, Stryker takes two bullets to the leg. Sent home from the war, he discovers his ex-girlfriend (Cheryl Hausen) has been kidnapped by a religious cult with a vicious Manson-like leader (played by THE EVIL DEAD and SPIDER-MAN trilogy director, Sam Raimi). Stryker teams up with some marine friends to form an assassination squad and annihilate the gang of crazed killers.

Synapse Films is proud to present THOU SHALT NOT KILL... EXCEPT in an all-new 2K high-definition transfer from the original negative. Directed by Josh Becker, this must-see (Detroit Free Press) cult classic features many of the people responsible for THE EVIL DEAD, including co-writer Bruce Campbell, writer/producer Scott Spiegel, composer Joseph LoDuca, and actor Ted Raimi.

Release Features

  • All-New High-Definition 2K Digital Restoration from the Original Negative
  • The Original Super 8mm Short film, STRYKER'S WAR Short Film, starring Bruce Campbell!
  • Made in Michigan: The Making of THOU SHALT NOT KILL... EXCEPT - Featurette
  • Two Audio Commentaries Featuring Director Josh Becker, Bruce Campbell and Star Brian Schulz
  • All-New Video Interview with Bruce Campbell
  • Deleted Scene with Optional Director's Commentary
  • Alternate Title Sequence Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible Cover Artwork

 

11th April

 Offsite Article Dragging On...

Link Here
The adoption of PEGI ratings for computer games now delayed until July 2012

See article from gamesindustry.biz

 

11th April

 Offsite Article Playing the World Domination Game...

Link Here
US games rating body is looking to worldwide ratings. Of course their most fundamental 17 rating makes absolutely no sense to the rest of the world. But there you go.

See article from gamasutra.com

 

11th April

 Offsite Article Every little Helps...

Link Here  full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report
Daily Mail run the expected nonsense article supporting Big Brother Dave's call for age classifications for internet music videos. By Sonia Poulton

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

11th April   

Kissing Freedom Goodbye...

Egyptian film and TV censors retrospectively ban kissing
Link Here

Egypt flag The Egyptian Censorship Authority is to delete all supposedly inappropriate kissing scenes in several films, and has established a list of stars whose films will be banned or censored.

The list includes Adel Imam, Souad Hosni, Nabila Obeid, Nadia Al Jundi, Mirvat Amin, Najla Fathi, Chamss Al Baroudi, Najwa Fouad, Tahia Karioka, Samia Jamal, and Fifi Abdou.

This decision has targeted several movies like Charee Al Hobb, Al Wissada Al Khaliya, Maaboudat Al Jamahir, Al Rajoul al Thani and Al Zawja Rakm 13.

A group of Islamic supervisors of the Egyptian Public Broadcaster will be in charge of removing immoral footage from films the TV network has in its archives. The ban will apply to scenes featuring hugging, kissing and belly dancing.

The daily believes that the setting up of a supervising authority on cinema and TV content is a clear indication of the ground which the Islamic parties have been gaining in post-Mubarak Egypt.

 

10th April   

Recommended by Nutters...

The Hunger Games Trilogy makes the top 3 in the list of most complained about books in US libraries
Link Here

The Hunger Games Trilogy Box Every year, the American Library Association releases a list of the most frequently challenged books, ie books that nutters have requested to be banned from libraries, schools, and curricula.

This year, Suzanne Collins' dystopian novel The Hunger Games trilogy is ranked No. 3 on the list. It's no surprise that Hunger Games is a controversial series, its basic premise of children slaughtering children for sport is said to be shocking in itself.

At No.1 is Lauren Myracle's IM series, ttyl, ttfn, and l 8r, g8r . The novels, written entirely in IM format, follow high school friends as they navigate boys, drugs, alcohol, parties, driving, and college prep.

No. 2 on the list is The Color of Earth , a series by Kim Dong Hwa, a graphic novel about a young girl coming of age alongside her single mother.

 

10th April   

The Culture and Media Institute Recommends...

Dance Again by Jennifer Lopez
Link Here

jennifer lopez dance again video US nutters from the Culture and Media institute are whingeing at Jennifer Lopez's new video for Dance Again.

In a recent interview with Radar, Dan Gainor for the institute spouted:

Jennifer Lopez's skanky new video shows how desperate she is to retain her fame despite her fading relevance.

Gainor said the big issue with the video is the fact that it premiered during a show watched by children:

Even the supposedly family-friendly TV shows like American Idol are never safe in the hands of Hollywood. Such sexualized videos aren't appropriate for any children to watch, including Lopez's own twins.

The video, which debuted on American Idol last week has racked up nearly 10 million views on YouTube. It has Lopez dancing around and running her hands over herself and other dancers. Lopez's choreographer and boyfriend Casper Smart figures prominently in the video. Pitbull is also featured on Dance Again. It's Lopez's second recent collaboration with the Cuban rapper.

 

10th April   

Update: A+ for Excessive Sleaze...

India looks set to introduce three new film censorship classifications
Link Here  full story: Film Classifications in India...Film censors rethink their categories

I&B logo India's Information and Broadcasting Ministry is all geared up to expand film censorship classifications.

U [Universal] , A [Adult] and U/A [Children must be accompanied by an adult] will continue to exist. A+ [indicating excessive gore, violence or sleaze], 12+ and 15+ are set to be introduced.

The proposed changes amending the Cinematograph Act will be implemented by October 2012.

Film censors of the CBFC said the need for devising new categories was felt as the film industry pressed for classification along international lines.

Author Jaishree Misra, who has worked as a film classifier at the British Board of Film Classification in London, thinks it's an extremely positive step to have a more refined system than the one India has had so far:

The pressure has been growing (both from filmmakers and society) to move from less censorship to more classification. Consequently, parents rely more and more on the system to guide them and so the more 'signals' they get from the symbols, the better it is. The film industry can only benefit when audiences trust them not to have harmful content in their films and their regulatory system is the best way to achieve this.

 

10th April   

Banging the Drum...

Israel takes offence at a serious comment and bans German author Gunther Grass
Link Here

The Tin Drum Vintage Classics Israel has declared the German Nobel laureate, Gunther Grass, persona non grata following the publication of his poem suggesting that the Jewish State poses a greater threat to world peace than Iran.

The celebrated author, 84, noted for The Tin Drum , was forced to defend his poem, explaining that his criticism was directed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and not Israel as a whole.

After the work was published in a German newspaper last week, Netanyahu accused the author of shameful moral equivalence and suggested that his criticisms derived from his time in the Waffen-SS during the Second World War.

Reflecting the bitter official mood in Israel, Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that Grass would in future be barred from entering the country. Grass's poems are an attempt to guide the fire of hate towards the State of Israel... and to advance the ideas of which he was a public partner in the past, when he wore the uniform of the SS, Yishai said.

In his poem What must be said , Grass said that Israel endangered a fragile world peace and warned that it could wipe out the Iranian people with a first strike to stop Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

 

10th April   

The Olympic Sport of Internet Blocking...

Iran blocks the website of the London Olympics
Link Here

zion 2012 Iran appears to have blocked the official website for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Users in Iran have tweeted that they are unable to connect to london2012.com and are instead redirected to peyvandha.ir - a site offering stories from Iran's official news agencies.

Iran has already blocked UK embassy websites possibly in a bit of a censorship tiff since the propaganda news Channel Press TV was banned first from the UK, and then from Europe, being taken off the Astra satellite after a request from Germany.

Iran had previously signalled it might boycott the Olympics over claims that the official logo spells the word Zion - a Hebrew word used to refer to Israel or Jerusalem.

In February 2011 the Iranian authorities called for the logo to be withdrawn and the designers confronted . However, a follow-up letter later made clear its athletes would still participate and play gloriously .

 

10th April   

Facing up to Employee Privacy...

Maryland is the first US state to legislate to refuse employers from demanding access to the employee's Facebook profiles
Link Here

Maryland state seal The state of Maryland just passed the first bill in the US that bans employers from asking for the social media passwords of job applicants and employees.

Melissa Goemann, Legislative Director of ACLU of Maryland, said:

We are proud of Maryland for standing up for the online privacy of employees and the friends and family members they stay in touch with online. Our state has trail-blazed a new frontier in protecting freedom of expression in the digital age, and has created a model for other states to follow.

The ACLU of Maryland helped Robert Collins to make headlines after his employer, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, asked for his Facebook password during a reinstatement interview after a leave of absence following a death in his family. Feeling that he had no choice --- your privacy or your livelihood? Really? --- Collins turned over his password, but, in his words, I felt violated, I felt disrespected, I felt that my privacy was invaded. But not only my privacy, the privacy of my friends and that of my family that didn't ask for that. And, on his way out of the interview, he called the ACLU of Maryland.

It turns out that we weren't the only ones who were horrified by DOC's demands. The Maryland State Legislature took up the case, and with support from ACLU of Maryland, passed the nation's first-ever bill barring employers from asking for the social media passwords of job applicants and employees!

But this issue is far from resolved. In states across the country, employers are demanding applicants' and employers' social networking passwords or requiring them to friend, say, an HR manager with no privacy settings, and school officials, teachers, and coaches are demanding the same of their students and student-athletes.

 

10th April   

Dangerous Rap...

Moroccan jailed on remand over song lyrics criticising the political situation
Link Here

megaz el haked The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the arrest of rapper and activist of the 20 February movement, Megaz El Haked, by the Moroccan security forces on March 29 claiming that one of his songs is offensive to a public institution.

El Haked was summoned for interrogation on a charge of offending a public authority by a Casablanca Cour. In one of his songs, El Haked criticized the political situation in Morocco, which authorities considered a defamatory insult against public officials. The activist jailed on remand to stand trial on 4 April.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time that El Haked has been arrested for his songs. He was imprisoned for four months on trumped-up charges before being released in January 2012.

El Haked's arrest for the content of his songs for the second time is unacceptable and is a clear violation of freedom of expression, which includes freedom of creativity and art, stated ANHRI: Freedom of expression is an inherent right and no one should be punished for expressing his opinions, whether that was critical of the system or not.

ANHRI calls upon the Moroccan authorities to immediately release El Haked and ensure that peaceful free expression is protected.

Update: Still Jailed

20th April 2012.  See  article from  hrw.org

Moroccan authorities should drop charges and release a rapper who has spent three weeks in pretrial detention on charges that he insulted the police in his songs and a video set to his music, Human Rights Watch said today.

Police arrested Mouad Belghouat, known as al-Haqed (the sullen one), on March 29, 2012, because of a YouTube video with a photo of a policeman whose head has been replaced with a donkey's. The lyrics denounce police corruption.

The offending material cited in the case file consists of a rap song Belghouat composed and recorded, entitled Kilab ed-Dowla (Dogs of the State), and a YouTube video containing a photo-montage set to the song. The song denounces police corruption with lines like, You are paid to protect the citizens, not to collect people's money and take it to your chief.

 

10th April   

Insulting the People...

Jordan arrests peaceful protestors for supposedly insulting the king
Link Here

Jordan flag A law which allows the Jordanian authorities to detain activists on the basis of insulting the king must be repealed, Amnesty International said after 30 to 40 apparently peaceful protesters were detained in Amman.

At least 13 people remain in custody in the wake of the weekend protests against the detention of half a dozen pro-reform activists.

Four activists have been held for nearly a month and are now facing charges of insulting the king amid a growing crackdown on freedom of expression.

The protestors are understood to have been arrested when they called for the downfall of the government. Some 40 to 50 officers of the Gendarmerie allegedly beat and kicked them before loading them into a police van. According to a lawyer who visited them, they were also beaten after arrest.to a hospital for examination was apparently refused.

Jordan continues to use a draconian law which effectively criminalizes political dissent as a way to silence political opponents and government critics, said Ann Harrison, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.

 

10th April

 Offsite Article: Beware What you Write!...

Link Here
Authorities ban books at the Bahrain International Book Fair

See article from networkedblogs.com

 

9th April   

Update: Parents TV Council Recommends...

GCB
Link Here  full story: Good Chrsitian Bitches...Nutter wind up

GCB The Complete First Season ABC's new Sunday night program GCB (original title: Good Christian Bitches ) imitates the Desperate Housewives formula: take a number of shallow, materialistic, sex-obsessed women; give them some pretext, no matter how flimsy, for acting catty and sniping at one another; and add a few bumbling, clueless, token husbands. Result: a new nighttime soap. Unfortunately, the Disney-owned network has also found it necessary to inject an insultingly caricatured and totally one-sided image of religion into the picture. All of the villainous, vengeance-crazed women are devout Christians.

The program's protagonist, non-believer Amanda -- supposedly the queen bitch in high school -- possesses the virtues of a saint. Meanwhile, the show's churchgoing good Christian women -- particularly their chief, Carlene Cockburn -- are presented as petty, two-faced, back-stabbing, liquor-swilling, sexually aggressive hypocrites.

This one-sided portrayal of Christians as uniformly wicked, and the show's sleazy mixture of sex and religious sentiment, reveal the attitudes of GCB's makers. The ONLY time Scripture is quoted on the program is when Carlene uses it as a hypocritical excuse to perform some blatantly un-Christian action. The ONLY thing viewers see occurring during the church service is Carlene offering a back-stabbing, slanderous prayer to attack other people. And the ONLY decent, likeable character on the program is also the only one who professes no religion. On GCB, Christianity is ALWAYS a farce, and ALL Christians are hypocrites, who ONLY use their religion to attack others and justify their own sinful actions.

GCB is merely the latest and most extreme example of the entertainment industry's uniquely unfair treatment of Christians and their religion. When does scripted prime-time television ever show Christianity as a positive influence, either in private life or in society as a whole?

 

9th April   

Update: Woman in Black...

So will it be cut or uncut when released on DVD/Blu-ray?
Link Here  full story: The Woman in Black...Cut by the BBFC for a 12A

The Woman Black Daniel Radcliffe Amazon UK has announced a DVD release for Woman in Black on June 18th 2012.

The text states that classification is still to be announced but the cover art depicts a 12 rating.

Perhaps this suggests that the distributors are aiming to release the cinema version that was cut for a 12A rating.

There is no word of video versions on the BBFC website but the Irish censors at IFCO have announced what looks like 2 versions. Both are 15 rated so the Amazon cover art can't be right.

In fact the Irish censor has revealed an uncut version with an NTSC running time suggesting that this will be a Blu-ray.

There is also a slightly shorter version with a PAL running time, presumably the cut version for DVD.

So perhaps the best guess is that the DVD will be the 12 rated cut version and the Blu-ray will feature the uncut version.

 

9th April   

Seeing Through Nutter Complaints...

ASA dismisses ludicrous whinges about a glazing advert with a woman in hot pants and a cropped top
Link Here

camel group logo A regional press ad, for the glazing company, Camel Glass & Joinery, was viewed between November 2011 and January 2012 in the North Devon Gazette and North Devon Journal. It featured images of doors sold by the company as well as of a woman who was wearing denim hot pants, a cropped top and red boots. She was crouched and appeared to have her hand on her hip.

The ASA received [an unspecified number] of complaints:

  1. All of the complainants challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, because they believed it was overtly sexual.
  2. Some of the complainants also challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, because they believed it was demeaning to women.
  3. Some of the complainants also challenged whether the ad was unsuitable to appear where it could be seen by children.

Camel Glass & Joinery (CGJ) said the ad was intended to attract DIY and trade customers. They said it was not intended to be offensive but to be bright and eye-catching with discounts and low prices. They said the image was a standard one bought from an agency; the woman was fully clothed and it was used to draw attention to the discounted items shown in the ad.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Not upheld

The ASA noted the woman was wearing denim hot pants, a cropped top, and red boots. We also noted she was crouched and considered she appeared to have her hand on her hip. We considered the overall effect of the image, including of the woman's facial expression, was only mildly sexual.

Although we noted the image of the woman was not directly relevant to the products being advertised, we considered the ad did not demean women. We also noted the ad did not, for example, include any innuendo and that it appeared in a targeted medium. We considered children were less likely to view the ad than if it had appeared in an untargeted medium and concluded that, because it was no more than mildly sexual, the ad was suitably targeted. We also concluded that, although some might find it distasteful, the ad was not overtly sexual and was not demeaning to women. We therefore concluded that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence in the medium in which it appeared.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

 

9th April   

Pressing Censorship...

Lebanon proposal to censor bloggers and webmasters as if they were newspapers
Link Here

Lebanon flag To date, Lebanese internet users, and especially bloggers, have enjoyed some of the greatest Internet freedoms in the Middle East. But a new draft law by Information Minister Walid Daouk, called the Lebanese Internet Regulation Act, could put an end to some of those freedoms.

Under the proposed law, any electronic publication affecting the morals and ethics of Lebanon, as well as anything having to do with gambling, would be illegal. The Act would also require mandatory registration of websites with the Ministry of Information, including personally identifying information.

The Act would render online content (including advertising) subject to the same regulations as traditional print and broadcast media under the country's 1963 press law, which limits the number of press licenses issued for political publication, and encourages self-censorship. Web users would also be restricted to owning no more than a single website.

Lebanese citizens are protesting the Act on Twitter under the hashtag #StopLIRA.

 

9th April   

Life Threatening...

Draconian internet crimes law proposed in Iraq
Link Here

Iraq flag Proposed legislation in Iraq has free speech and human rights watch groups on alert.

According to a translation from the Centre for Law and Democracy, Articles 3, 4, and 5 of Iraq's IT Crimes Law would impose a mandatory life sentence for anyone using a computer or the Internet to do any of the following:

  • compromise the unity of the state;
  • subscribe, participate, negotiate, promote, contract or deal with an enemy ... in order to destabilize security and public order or expose the country to danger;
  • damage, cause defects, or hinder [systems or networks] belonging to security military, or intelligence authorities with a deliberate intention to harm [state security].
  • promote ideas which are disruptive to public order ;
  • implement terrorist operations under fake names or to facilitate communication with members or leaders of terrorist groups ;
  • promote terrorist activites and ideologies or to publish information regarding the manufacturing, preparation and implementation of flammable or explosive devices, or any tools or materials used in the planning or execution of terrorist acts ; facilitate or promote human trafficking in any form ;
  • engage in trafficking, promoting or facilitating the abuse of drugs .

The Act also includes provisions to punish network users who create chaos in order to weaken the trust of the electronic system of the state, provoke or promote armed disobedience, disturb public order or harm the reputation of the country, or intrude, annoy or call computer and information network users without authorization or hinders their use.

Copyright infringement and hacking would also land users in big trouble under the Act, which proposes a 2- to 3-year prison term for either offense.

 

8th April   

Update: Big Brother Cameron Faces the Music...

Reportedly he wants music videos on the internet to be subject to age verification
Link Here  full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report
Rihanna The Story DVD It is understood the Prime Minister is considering new rules that would oblige websites hosting such videos to introduce robust age verification systems similar to those used to safeguard children online gambling.

Music videos are currently exempt from BBFC censorship under the Video Recordings Act 2010. There are currently no legal restrictions on children downloading music videos of any kind.

The Prime Minister is understood to be disappointed with the music video industry's response to a Government report that whinged about sexualisation of childhood.

Cameron is to summon leading figures in the music video and social media world to Downing Street for a summit next month and threaten censorial new laws if more is not done to protect children.

Campaigners claim there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of sexual content and explicit language in music videos which can be accessed by very young children on computers and mobile phones.

Around 200 million videos are watched each month on Vevo, a music video website popular amongst the young. Although MTV, and other television channels, censor sexual content before the 9pm watershed the same is impractical for video-sharing websites.

Music videos were singled out for strong criticism in Let Children be Children, a Downing Street commissioned report written by anti-sexualisation campaigner Reg Bailey, head of the Mothers Union, a Church of England campaign group.

The  government also remains 'concerned' by the style and promotion of so-called Lads' mags , such as Loaded, FHM and Nuts. This industry is also set to be called in to Downing Street over the summer to be asked what steps they are taking to protect children.

There is likely to be strong opposition to Government restrictions on accessing music videos online. Rio Caraeff, the chief executive of Vevo, has said that age ratings are unnecessary and would be difficult to enforce. Vevo has claimed the move would be bad for business and would cut the royalties earned by some acts.

 

8th April   

Porn Stars Against Santorum...

An amusing video countering Rick Santorum's war against porn
Link Here

porn stars vs santorum video The porn industry is rallying against Rick Santorum's war on sexually explicit material with an online video protest of the Republican presidential candidate.

The satirical clip on Jest.com, entitled Porn Stars Against Santorum , follows the conservative's pledge last month to ban hardcore pornography if elected.

Not to be outdone, adult film stars Allie Haze, Chastity Lynn and Chanel Preston feature in the two-minute video, calling for a co-ordinated protest on May 1 to protest the politician's anti-pornography stand.

Jest teamed up with producers at Los Angeles-based porn industry giant Vivid Entertainment to make the campaign video.

The actresses also encourage viewers to vote for Santorum in the remaining primary elections, because if he wins the primaries, he will definitely get crushed by Obama. And Obama would never try to stop the porn industry.

 

8th April   

Update: Mediawatch-UK Obsessed by TV Blame...

Mediawatch-Uk and Ofcom reported to be on the back of soap producers
Link Here  full story: Coronation Street...Complaints and whinges

Stanley Blue Strike Hammer 16Oz Claims that Daniel Bartlam's horrific crime might have been inspired by a Coronation Street storyline has fuelled nutter calls for TV soap opera bosses to show more restraint.

The scene in which John Stape murders a colleague with a hammer was found on the teenager's computer along with a montage of violent scenes from other soap operas including Hollyoaks and Emmerdale , horror films and TV crime dramas.

Nutter group Mediawatch-UK has pleaded with producers to take greater responsibility , stressing the dangers sensational storylines pose to young impressionable fans.

In the past five years 18 murders have been committed in the UK's three main soaps and TV watchdog Ofcom is reported to be seeking assurances from broadcasters about the levels of violence being shown.

 

8th April   

Updated: American Pie 1-3 Box Set...

Unrated versions released on UK Blu-ray
Link Here

American Pie Digital Copies Blu ray American Pie is a 1999 US comedy by Paul Weitz. With Jason Biggs and Chris Klein. See IMDb

UK: The Extended Version/Unseen Edition/Ultimate Edition/Unrated Version was passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Universal American Pie 1-3 Box Set R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 19th March 2012
  • UK 2010 Universal Ultimate Edition R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2002 Columbia/TriStar R2 DVD
  • UK 2000 Universal R2 DVD
American Pie 2 is a 2001 US comedy by JB Rogers. With Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott and Shannon Elizabeth. See IMDb

UK: The Unseen Version/Unrated Version was passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Universal American Pie 1-3 Box Set R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 19th March 2012
  • UK 2011 Universal R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2003 Universal R2 DVD
  • UK 2002 Columbia/TriStar R2 DVD
American Pie 3: The Wedding is a 2003 US comedy by Jesse Dylan. With Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan and Seann William Scott. See IMDb

UK: The Unrated Version was passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Universal American Pie 1-3 Box Set R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 19th March 2012
  • UK 2011 Universal R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2003 Universal R2 DVD

 

8th April   

Updated: Against the Norms of an Intolerant Society...

Malaysia bans all gay characters from state TV
Link Here

Malaysia flag Malaysia has issued a directive to state-owned TV stations ordering them to ban and remove LGBT characters, and says it will expand the order to privately owned stations,

The Information Department has banned shows featuring gay characters, Deputy Information, Communications and Homophobic Culture Minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D'Cruz confirmed. He said the ban was effective immediately but would only start with state-owned TV and radio stations.

If it means cancelling some of the shows, so be it, he told The Star, adding that the decision was to curb the influence of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.

He also said the decision will be expanded to cover privately-owned stations as well as satellite TV providers. As for foreign productions, he said the Censorship Board will remove episodes from running TV shows and bar movies with gay characters from being screened locally.

The directive appeared on the Information Department Facebook page:

Effective immediately, radio and TV stations are asked to stop screening shows which feature gay, effeminate men as well as characters that go against the norm of a religious society because this encourages and promotes LGBT now.

Update: Blather

8th April 2012. See  article from  gaystarnews.com

rais yatim In the face of justified criticism of Malaysia's homophobic ban an gays on TV, officials have been blathering about the ban, simultaneously both denying and confirming it.

Malaysia has no plan to ban state media programmes featuring LGBT characters ...BUT... retains the right to select suitable content for the public, officials have 'clarified'.

With the message stirring up a hot debate online, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yaim and his deputy sought to explain the official stance only to cause much more confusion.

There is no ban on any artistic performance by any segment of society, including those acronymed as soft men, Rais wrote on Twitter. The ministry ...HOWEVER... reserves the right to select contents suitable to the general public since the country is a multi-racial, religious and cultural one, he added.

Rais's deputy Maglin Dennis D'Cruz added to the contradictory government bollox. Whilst onfirming the ban as a mistake, he noted there is indeed a directive and a guideline will be produced to avoid putting LGBT characters on screen or the air waves.

 

8th April   

Occupying One Side of the Story...

BBC upholds complaint against Chris Evans who commented on Occupy St Paul's
Link Here

chris evans radio 2 A listener complained that Chris Evans expressed a one-sided attitude to the protestors outside St Paul's Cathedral.

Outcome: Complaint upheld

Chris Evans made critical comments about the protestors on a number of occasions during the programme. The producer reminded him of the requirements of due impartiality while the programme was on air, and he agreed to express no further opinions on the subject. Nevertheless, in the absence of balancing comments, what had already been broadcast was not duly impartial.

The Compliance Editor of Radio 2 is conducting a series of briefings with the main presenters and their programme teams which cover issues of impartiality, and the Controller of Radio 2 has been asked to raise impartiality issues in his routine meetings with presenters and their representatives.

 

8th April   

From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad...

Iran has a whinge at a BBC documentary
Link Here

from cyrus to ahmadinejad Iran has whinged at the BBC for airing what it said was illegal footage of Tehran in a new documentary examining the history of Iran's relationship with Israel, from the Babylonian exile through the present conflict.

BBC Persian posted Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari's film, From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad , on its website last week, where it is still available for viewing. The Persian-language channel has also organized a showing of the documentary at London's Frontline Club later this month.

The 55-minute film examines Israel's relationship with Iran from the time of Persian King Cyrus the Great, who helped the Jews return to Israel from exile in Babylonia in the sixth century BC, through the Jewish state's covert dealings with Iran both before and after the fall of the Shah in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

A statement appeared on Iran's state-run Press TV's English and Persian websites, saying that BBC Persian was broadcasting the documentary illegally, because of a ban on airing footage taken in Iran.

Iran's anger over Bahari's documentary is also the latest development in an ongoing row over the UK's decision in January to revoke Iran's state-owned Press TV's license to broadcast in Britain, after the Iranian channel aired an interview last year of Bahari obtained under duress during his 118-day detention in a Tehran prison in 2009.

 

8th April

 Offsite Article: So what did the troll actually say?...

Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block
Liam Stacey wrote vile things. But do you know why he went to jail? Well, you should. By Victoria Cohen

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

8th April

 Offsite Article: Council Snooping...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Council snoopers to read our emails as internet giants could be forced to hand over data. Daily Mail considers the new snooping proposals in terms of council use and misuse

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

7th April   

Hanging Well with the ASA...

ASA clear underwear advert featuring David Beckham
Link Here

hm david beckham advert A digital poster for H&M, displayed on 30 January 2012, showed three images of David Beckham. One image featured David Beckham wearing only a pair of trunk briefs. Issue

Three complainants objected to the ad.

  1. Three complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive.

  2. Two complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because it contained material that they said was unsuitable for children to see.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Not Upheld

  1. The ASA noted that there was no explicit nudity in the image, and that the ad was for an underwear range. We considered that the nature of the product meant viewers of the ad were less likely to regard the ad as gratuitous or offensive, and considered that the poses and facial expressions of David Beckham were mildly sexual at most. While we acknowledged that some viewers might consider the images distasteful, we concluded the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

    On this point we investigated the ad under CAP Code  rule 4.1 (Harm and Offence) but did not find it in breach.
     

  2. Because the ad was for an underwear range, was not overtly sexual and did not feature explicit nudity, we considered the ad was not unsuitable for children to see, and concluded it was not socially irresponsible.

    On this point we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.

 

7th April   

Update: A Court Suggestion...

Google auto-complete feature under duress from a Japanese court
Link Here

Google logo Google searches on most browsers and devices automatically suggest search terms as you type, based on the search terms popularity.

Numerous outlets reported that a court in Japan had asked Google to suspend the autocomplete function entirely, after a Japanese man claimed his certain criminal acts appeared as a suggestion next to his name when Googled. The man claims he was fired from one job, and missed out on being hired from others, because of the association.

The court ruled that certain terms must be deleted from searches, Google says, rather than a blanket ban on autocomplete. Google said:

A Japanese court issued a provisional order requesting Google to delete specific terms from autocomplete. The judge did not require Google to completely suspend the autocomplete function. Google is currently reviewing the order.

The Google spokesperson wouldn't speculate as to whether or not Google autocomplete could be turned-off entirely in Japan.

 

7th April   

Severe Censorship...

Victims of Tunisian 'justice' jailed for 7 years over Mohammed cartoons
Link Here

Tunisia flag Tunisian authorities have sentenced two young Facebook users to seven years in jail after they published cartoons of Mohammad on the social network.

Tunisia's 'justice' ministry says that the duo posted images showing Mohammad naked which, according to spokesperson Chokri Nefti, saw them punished for violation of morality, and disturbing public order.

One of the men, Jabeur Mejri, is already incarcerated while police are actively seeking the other, Ghazi Beji, who was sentenced in absentia.

Local blogger Nebil Zagdoud told Reuters that the sentences are very heavy and severe, even if these young people were at fault. This decision is aimed at silencing freedom of expression even on the Internet. Prosecutions for offending morals are a proxy for this government to gag everyone.

Tunisia is still on Reporters without Borders' list of countries under surveillance despite attempts by the newly formed government to distance itself from tactics used by its predecessors.

Update: Appealling

3rd June 2012. See  article from  english.alarabiya.net

A court hearing of the appeal of a Tunisian young man sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for publishing cartoons of Prophet Mohammed is set to resume, according to one of his lawyers.

We made a request for our client's medical assessment because we want to prove that he suffers from psychological problems, Bochra Bel Haj Hamida, told AFP, adding that the court will respond to their request. In any case, we are going to ask for a dismissal of this case, she said.

Update: Appeal Fails

26th June 2012. Based on article from  minivannews.com

A Tunisian appeals court has upheld the 7-year sentence for the man convicted of blasphemy for posting Muhammad cartoons on Facebook.

Jaber Majeri was convicted March 28 for posting images of the religious character purportedly being intimate with one of his wives. He was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison and fined $800.

Update: Appeal cancelled

27th April 2013. See  article from  uncut.indexoncensorship.org

Tunisia's Court of Cassation failed to review the seven-and-a-half year sentence of Jabeur Mejri, who was convicted last year of publishing cartoons of the prophet Muhammad on Facebook. Mejri's lawyer, Mohammed Mselmi, told AFP that the demand for an appeal was mysteriously withdrawn , even though a hearing had been scheduled on 25 April.

The defence team will now seek a presidential pardon for their client.

Update: Set to be released

29th January 2013. See  article from  indexoncensorship.org

The imprisonment of Jabeur Mejri over the publication of prophet Muhammad cartoons on his Facebook page is set to come to an end soon, reports Tunisian local media.

Mohamed Attia, vice-president of the Tunisian League for Human Rights (LTDH) told privately-owned radio station Shems FM that Mejri will soon be released, and that he will travel to Sweden where he has allegedly obtained political asylum. The announcement comes after civil society groups visited Mejri in prison on 21 January.

The initiative was led by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and included representatives from the LTDH, the Tunisian Forum for Socio Economic Rights (FTDES) and Mejri's support committee.

Mejri has been in prison for nearly two years for posting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on his Facebook page. He was sentenced to a seven-and-a-half year jail term for publishing material liable to cause harm to public order or good morals , insulting others through public communication networks and assaulting public morals .

Update: Released

6th March 2013. See  article from  abcnews.go.com

The lawyer for a Tunisian blogger sentenced to seven years in prison for posting cartoons deemed insulting to the religious character Muhammad says her client has been freed.

Amid international and local outcry, President Moncef Marzouki pardoned the 29-year-old Mejeri on Feb. 19, however authorities at first kept him in prison pending new charges of embezzlement by a former employer.

 

7th April

 Offsite Article: Big Brother law stirs Lib Dems to revolt...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Supporting these disgraceful laws to bring in Orwellian government snooping would eradicate the very point of the party

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

7th April

 Offsite Article: Recording a Good Point...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Theresa May asked for her complete browsing history and communications data via a freedom of information request. Thanks to Sergio

See article from whatdotheyknow.com

 

7th April

 Offsite Article: Preparing for an Olympic Lockdown?...

Link Here  full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
So why are non-sports journalists based in London being advised to seek state accreditation?

See article from wired.co.uk

 

6th April   

Iranian Propaganda Channel Closed Down in Europe...

Germany initiates shut down of the satellite channel, Press TV
Link Here

Press TV Under pressure from the German government, media censors at BLM have initaiated an action to remove Iran's international English Channel, Press TV, from SES Astra.

In an email sent to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting officials, Vice President of the SES Platforms Services, Stephane Goebel, noted that the BLM has asked Press TV be immediately removed from the platform.

The authority has claimed that Iran's English-speaking channel does not have a license for broadcast in Europe. Goebel added that his company will be no longer able to keep the Press TV signal on air and will need to shut down the service without further notice.

The channel was turned of on 3rd April.

Press TV has responded that the decision to remove Press TV is a flagrant breach of regulations and a disproportionate act. The channel has said that it will be demanding compensation unless transmissions are restored by April 5.

Update: Legal Channels

8th April 2012. See  article from  english.farsnews.com

Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyed Mohammad Hosseini said that Tehran will not sit silent about the ban on Iran's International English Channel, Press TV, and will pursue the case through legal channels. He said:

We will legally pursue the case with (Germany's) taking Press TV Network off the air. We too enjoy leverages and will use them, and we won't keep quiet,

We don't want to reciprocate this move, rather we will condemn it. We condemn those who claim to be advocates of the free flow of information and democracy but are not ready to tolerate a network of ours.

 

6th April   

Update: Thank Fuck for That...

Compromise reached for Bully, 3 'fucks' in and 3 edited out for a PG-13
Link Here

bully poster The Weinstein Company has announced that it had reached an agreement with the MPAA to cut its unrated documentary Bully for a PG-13 rating. The movie will now go out with that rating when it opens in about 115 new theaters next weekend.

The new cut of the Lee Hirsch film makes some concessions to the MPAA: It removes a 'fuck' in an early scene in the film, along with two others quickly uttered. Audio will be dropped out in all three instances.

But the new cut leaves intact a controversial scene on a school bus in which three 'fucks' are used against a bullied child.

The case now represents an exception to the MPAA's rules; the group typically imposes an R rating on any film with more than two 'fucks'.

The unexpurgated version of the movie will remain for the current restricted release, with the PG-13 print replacing all versions when the movie widens April 13.

 

6th April   

Mass Protest...

Nutters have initiated a letter writing campaign against gay elements in the game Mass Effect 3
Link Here

Mass Effect 3 PC DVD Florida nutters have been writing masses of letters protesting at LGBT elements in the video games Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

It is suspected that the Florida Family Association is directing the campaign aimed at Entertainment Arts (EA) because of the same-sex relationship content.

The Family Research Council, led by Tony Perkins, is also involved. In a new Star Wars game, the biggest threat to the empire may be homosexual activists! said Perkins.

EA is standing up for same sex relationships in games despite the nutter 'outrage'.

Every one of EA's games includes ESRB content descriptors so it's hard to believe anyone is surprised by the content. This isn't about protecting children, it's about political harassment, Jeff Brown, VP of corporate communications told gamesindustry.biz .

The letters have been directed to EA's top brass. Many of them threaten to boycott EA's titles if the publisher refuses to remove same-sex relationship content. The letters also infer that the LGBT content is somehow forced upon children, exposing them to LGBT themes.

However the M (17) rated games are not for children, nor do they force LGBT content on a player - it's merely an option for gamers who wish to replicate their real-life sexual orientation.

 

6th April   

Legendary Amazons...

New UK DVD and Blu-ray release cut for animal cruelty
Link Here

Legendary Amazons DVD Legendary Amazons is a 2011 China war film by Frankie Chan. With Cecilia Cheung, Xiaoqing Liu and Richie Ren. See IMDb

Passed 15 after 10s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 Showbox/Cine Asia RB Blu-ray
  • UK 2012 Showbox/Cine Asia R2 DVD

The BBFC commented:

  • Two cuts were required to remove sight of unsimulated animal cruelty (in this case cruel and dangerous horse falls in which horses are tripped and land on their heads and necks).

 

6th April   

Update: Howes That!...

Elspeth Howe's internet censorship bill fails to win government support
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

DCMS logo Elspeth Howe's Bill introduced to the House of Lords a few days ago required ISPs to default to a censored internet feed until an adult subscriber requests otherwise and verifies that they are adult.

The bill also requires internet devices to be sold with pre-installed blocking software and to provide information about internet safety.

However it is a private members bill and is rather muddying the water for alternative initiatives undertaken by industry in response to pressure from the government and nutter campaigners.

For the moment the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has said it would not support the bill, as industry was already taking steps to address the issue. A DCMS spokesman said:

We understand the sentiment behind this Private Members Bill, but it isn’t something that Government would support. Much can be achieved through self-regulation and it can be more effective than a regulatory approach in delivering flexible solutions that work for both industry and consumers.

Howe's Bill reads:

Online Safety Bill (HL Bill 137)

1 Duty to provide a service that excludes pornographic images

(1) Internet service providers must provide to subscribers an internet access service which excludes pornographic images unless all the conditions of subsection (3) have been fulfilled.

(2) Where mobile telephone network operators provide a telephone service to subscribers which includes an internet access service, they must ensure this service excludes pornographic images unless all the conditions of subsection (3) have been fulfilled.

(3) The conditions are---

(a) the subscriber opts-in to subscribe to a service that includes pornographic images;

(b) the subscriber is aged 18 or over; and

(c) the provider of the service has an age verification policy which has been used to confirm that the subscriber is aged 18 or over.

(4) In subsection (3)---

opts-in means a subscriber notifies the service provider of his or her consent to subscribe to a service that includes pornographic images.

2 Duty to provide a means of filtering online content

Manufacturers of electronic devices must provide customers with a means of 20filtering content from an internet access service at the time the device is purchased.

3 Duty to provide information about online safety

Internet service providers and mobile telephone network operators must provide prominent, easily accessible and clear information about online safety to customers at the time the internet service is purchased and shall make such 5information available for the duration of the service.

Note, the definition of “pornographic” is taken from the Dangerous Pictures Act:

An image is “pornographic” if it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal.

 

6th April   

A Talent for Easy Offence...

Several complaints is enough for a Daily Mail write up of burlesque on Britain's Got Talent
Link Here
beatrix von bourbon video Beatrix Von Bourbon performed a striptease on Britain's Got Talent during her audition at Blackpool.

The performance was shown well before the 9pm watershed mark which led to 54 complaints from viewers who contacted the TV censors of Ofcom.

The audition ended with Bourbon stripping down to her bra, before taking it off to reveal she was wearing gold nipple tassels. However TV viewers didn't get to know this as ITV had covered up her breasts with superimposed stars.

A spokesperson for the talent show told MailOnline:

Mindful of our family audience, Beatrix's stylised burlesque performance was carefully edited to ensure it was suitably in-explicit.

Update: Tame

10th May 2012. See  article from  google.com

Beatrix Von Bourbon may have stripped off for her audition but she was a bit tame for the main performance.

The show's judges described her as tame tonight after she performed to soulful Beyonce track Fever in a golden camisole top and knickers.

Simon Cowell said he did not think she would make it through to the final.

The tattooed performer peeled off a sleeveless wrap to reveal her underwear, but kept her back to the audience when she went topless.

 

6th April   

Fighting for Permission...

Thailand bans mixed martial arts, perhaps as protectionism for Muay Thai
Link Here

Strikeforce Mma Region Import NTSC The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) has confirmed that it has banned mixed martial arts (MMA).

It is brutal and it is not boxing, said SAT deputy governor Sakol Wannapong who oversees professional sports: It is against the 1999 boxing law. Organising a MMA event here would hurt the image of Muay Thai,

SAT officials met last week to discuss whether holding an MMA event was lawful or not following a request from a private company and they finally agreed that under the 1999 boxing law, it is unlawful to stage an MMA event in Thailand.

There have been two MMA events held in Bangkok and neither were approved by the SAT, according to Sakol.

If you want to do this kind of business, you should do it in another country, Sakol said, and with some unfathomable Thai logic added: Organising MMA here could mislead the public into believing that Muay Thai is brutal.

MMA is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, while standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, kickboxing, taekwondo, karate, judo and other styles.

 

6th April   

Film Censorship in Nova Scotia...

MFCB, Maritime Film Classification Board
Link Here

nova scotia logo If you wanted to know anything about the people who classify films for audiences in Nova Scotia, you're plum outta luck. We're allowed to know the names of the 17 appointees to the Maritime Film Classification Board, but not much else about them.

This secretiveness falls in line with the US classification board, the Motion Picture Association of America, which withholds its members' identities altogether.

How candidates are selected for the job is also vague. There are no formal qualifications required to distinguish between brutal violence and extreme violence, or explicit sexual content and just regular ol' sexual content. The province says they aim to pick people from around the region and the only official job requirement is open-mindedness.

This region's classifiers were once remarkably restrictive, outright banning the 1978 rape revenge film I Spit On Your Grave for 20 years, and John Water's 1972 film Pink Flamingos , an embargo that lasted until 1997. That same year, the MFCB banned Angelica Houston's critically acclaimed directorial debut, Bastard Out of Carolina . The film about a child's experience with sexual abuse was deemed disturbing by the board. They reasoned that the rape scenes went beyond acceptable community standards. The decision sparked an outcry and they eventually conceded, allowing a video release.

When people complain about films not coming here, this is one of the reasons, says Ron Foley MacDonald, a film curator: In fact, it's one of the biggest reasons, because distributors simply will not deal with the hassle and the money.

It costs $3.64 per minute to have a theatrical release or adult film classified in the Maritimes, rounding out to about $500 for the average film. Having received a theatre certificate there is a reduced charge of $36.53 for the same film on DVD.

DVDs are generally rated by one person and theatrical releases are reviewed by a group.

MFCB Classifications:

  • General (G) : Suitable for viewers of all ages.
     
  • Parental Guidance (PG) : Parental guidance is advised. Theme or content may not be suitable for all children.
     
  • 14 Accompaniment (14A) : Suitable for viewing by persons 14 years of age and older. Persons under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. May contain: violence, coarse language and/or sexually suggestive scenes.
     
  • 18 Accompaniment (18A) : Suitable for viewing by persons 18 years of age and older. Persons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Persons under 14 years of age are strictly prohibited from viewing the film. May contain: explicit violence, frequent coarse language, sexual activity and/or horror.
     
  • Restricted (R) : Admittance restricted to persons 18 years of age and over. Content not suitable for minors. Contains frequent use of sexual activity, brutal/graphic violence, intense horror and/or other disturbing content.
     
  • Adult (A) : Film is not suitable for viewers under 18 years of age because the sole or primary premise for the film is the depiction of explicit sexual activity, graphic nudity, or graphic violence.

 

6th April   

How to Unblock Everything on the Internet...

By Ankit Fadia
Link Here

How Unblock Everything The Internet Ethical hacker Ankit Fadia's book is shocking, entertaining, educational and inspiring all at the same time! He dedicates it To A Free and Unblocked Internet .

Seriously, even I learned a lot and I've been circumventing government Internet censorship in Thailand and teaching others how to for the past six years.

When I met the author, Ankit Fadia, in Bangkok a few weeks ago, I asked him the only important question: Everything? Surely that's exaggeration. He told me, of course it was, and that his book was mostly intended to help users circumvent school and workplace blocking.

After studying How to Unblock EVERYTHING on the Internet!, I just can't agree with him. Ankit pretty much covers everything I can think of. His Chapter 9 on multiple formats for a webpage's IP address is nothing short of brilliant. Turns out there are far more formats to which that URL can be converted than government could employ people to block (see below). For my work against censorship, this is the most important chapter in How to Unblock EVERYTHING on the Internet!

Update: Unimpressed

8th April 2012. See  article from  attrition.org . Suggested by FakeAnkitFadia via Twitter

 

6th April

 Offsite Article: Unconvincing Letter...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
The Home Secretary and Justice Secretary have written to MPs to address concerns around Big Brother Policies. A number of questions remained unanswered and some answers contradict recent statements

See article from bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

 

5th April   

Update: Nuts and Crackers...

Men in tights all too much for Malaysia's theatre censors
Link Here

puspal guidelines Malaysia has banned a Singaporean dance company from performing ballet in Kuala Lumpur because of their indecent tutus and tights, The Malaysian Insider reported.

The censors from Puspal or the Central Agency for the Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artists work for Malaysia's Information Communication and Culture Ministry.

Bilqis Hijjas, president of a Malaysian dance group called MyDance Alliance, said the decision by Puspal against the Singapore Dance Theatre was deplorable and would hurt Malaysia's reputation as a reliable host for cultural shows, The Malaysian Insider stated. She said:

KLPac is a private business on private ground with paying audiences who were well aware of what they were coming to see and not one of whom would have been distressed by the costumes.

She noted that the women's costumes featured long skirts except for dancers in The Nutcracker who would have worn the same short classical tutus and tights that have been used since ballet dancers performed before the Russian tsars in the 1870s.

Bilqis pointed out that the arts were also a business and that Puspal's decision would create enormous doubt among international investors causing them to bypass Malaysia as a venue for world-class performers.

Bilqis said she hoped the show would be allowed to go on with better leadership from the ministry as it was an act that would raise its prestige as an open and consistent incubator of the arts.

 

5th April   

Extract: Does FV Mean Family Viewing or Fantasy Violence?...

Does Anyone Care About TV's Content Ratings?
Link Here

us tv rating symbols It's been 15 years since the broadcast and cable networks launched TV's parental guidance ratings system under heavy pressure from the government and special interest groups. The ratings themselves were voluntary, but came after the landmark 1996 Telecommunications Act required all TV sets to include a V-Chip device that could block out programming unsuitable for children.

For most folks, the ratings bugs are just one more thing on an already cluttered TV screen. According to a 2007 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 43 percent of respondents who had purchased a V-Chip-equipped TV since 2000 even knew of the technology, and just 16 percent of parents said they utilized it. The study also found that few viewers understood that V stands for violence, S is sex and D means suggestive dialogue. Even more comical, a percentage of parents polled thought FV --- which warns of fantasy violence on kids' shows like Cartoon Network's Ben 10 --- is an abbreviation for family viewing. Oops.

...Read the full article

 

5th April

 Offsite Article: Spin and Propaganda...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Spy Blog discusses the anonymous media briefings to soften us up for even more internet snooping in the Queens Speech next month

See article from vladtepesblog.com

 

5th April

 Offsite Article: Privacy from state snooping defines a true democracy...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Government plans to allow email surveillance are among the most serious threats to freedom in the democratic world. By Henry Porter

See article from henry-porter.com

 

5th April

 Offsite Article: Killers aren't the result of what's on TV...

Link Here
The horrific details of how Daniel Bartlam murdered his mother with a claw hammer must have been music to the ears of the anti-video-games lobby. By John Walsh

See article from independent.co.uk

 

4th April   

Suffocating the UK Adult Internet Video Industry...

Open Letter to the ATVOD Board and ATVOD Industry Forum
Link Here

Strictly Braodband Dear Sirs,

I'm writing both as Managing Director of Strictly Broadband Ltd., a notified ATVOD ODPS provider, and Chairman of AITA, the UK's Adult Industry Trade Association.

It has recently become apparent that despite some efforts, the voice of our industry hasn't, until recently, been heard by the ATVOD board. This has recently changed with the appointment of Chris Ratcliff of Portland TV to the board, which we welcome. This letter is intended to explain why our industry has apparently been reticent to implement ATVOD rules.

My own business has been operating since 2004, selling rentals of online streaming adult videos. I established the business in the UK, which at the time was quite unusual for an online adult business; in 2004, the online adult industry had little idea where we stood legally, and most companies were established offshore. My aim was to track and implement UK regulation as it evolved. Initially, we worried that we may be in breach of the Video Recordings Act (VRA) -- however, the BBFC and police came to the conclusion that the VRA didn't apply to online adult businesses, and we found ourselves in a legal grey area.

The first attempt at regulation was by the BBFC Online scheme; Strictly Broadband joined and implemented the scheme at a cost to ourselves of around 10,000. The scheme ultimately failed to gain official recognition. So the first real regulation we faced came when ATVOD was formed. As with the BBFC scheme, Strictly Broadband made early contact with ATVOD, and became an early service to notify.

During this same period, the global online adult industry has been through a huge recession and shake-out as a result of the sudden availability, from late-2007, of free streaming content via the so-called tube sites . It is estimated within the industry that a revenue decline of 80% to 90% has been experienced during the past four years. Rather than being a grass-roots movement, the tube sites are largely operated by a few big industry players, in particular Manwin, which is a Canadian company (but owns UK businesses). The end result is that, as the ATVOD regulations are being introduced, many of the original players have gone out of business and those that remain are relatively small businesses compared to a few years ago. Strictly Broadband has seen its revenue and staff levels fall by over 50% during this time.

As a business and an industry, we have consistently strived to operate within laws and regulations; however, the regulations now being imposed by ATVOD are so onerous that they are effectively impossible to implement. We have always age-verified (via payment systems) before people can view our video product. However, the requirement that we age-verify before even photographic sales imagery can be seen will simply drive most of our customers to sites outside ATVOD's scope. The one company to fully implement these rules to date, Portland TV, has seen an 80% fall in new business, and a 28% fall in overall revenue, since they complied. As I'm sure the board will appreciate, few businesses can survive such a decline, especially in the current economic climate.

The ATVOD regulations seem to ignore a basic fact: the Internet is a global, borderless marketplace, and well over 99% of our competitors operate outside ATVOD's scope. To my knowledge, none of the top 100 adult services viewed by UK consumers falls within ATVOD's remit. Even among UK sites, none of the top three has bothered to notify. Furthermore, thousands of non-adult services, including Google and Twitter, freely display hardcore imagery without age verification. Therefore the ATVOD rules, particularly Rule 11, do not protect consumers in any way, but merely serve to punish those services that try to operate legally within the UK.

So far, I'm aware of one UK business that has closed down due to ATVOD's rules, and a second that has relocated outside the UK. If ATVOD pushes ahead with enforcement of Rule 11, the effect will be to decimate the UK adult industry. My own business would not survive the implementation of Rule 11, and I'm currently in discussion with EU-based partner businesses to outsource the key business functions if necessary. Our aim, since 2004, has been to comply with UK regulation; ATVOD is currently making that aim impossible to achieve.

Even if the entire UK industry closes down, adult content from outside the UK will be as easily accessible as it was before ATVOD. The regulations not only fail to stop adult content being accessible by children, but actually remove the few ethical businesses that want to comply with UK laws and pay UK taxes. From an industry perspective, this seems counter-productive; surely the aim of any regulations should be to tilt the playing field towards compliant businesses, rather than towards those who escape regulation?

AITA is looking at the possibility of creating a campaign, similar to the Drink Aware brand run by the alcohol industry, that would help educate parents on how to filter adult content from their children's Internet devices. We feel that this would be a better way forward to a regulated industry rather than punitive measures which would simply drive the UK industry offshore.

Sincerely,
Jerry Barnett

Chairman AITA
Managing Director, Strictly Broadband Ltd.

 

4th April   

American Apparel, British Prudes...

ASA bans fashion adverts featuring minor nudity
Link Here

american apparel socks 1 advert Eight ads on American Apparel's website, viewed in October 2011, and an ad in a free lifestyle magazine available from shops, distributed in October 2011:

  • a. The first website ad showed a woman wearing lace knickers and an un-zipped hooded sweater. She was arching her back towards the camera and her breasts were exposed.

  • b. The second website ad showed two women lying face-down on a bed, shot from above. They were looking up towards the camera. They were wearing thigh-high socks and nothing else, revealing their bare buttocks.

  • c. The third website ad showed the same two women wearing only thigh-high socks. They were lying on their sides, looking towards the camera. Their buttocks, and one woman's breast, were visible.

  • d. The magazine ad showed a woman lying on a bed. She was wearing a grey jumper and white knickers. Her legs were spread apart and her arms were raised above her head.

  • e. The fourth website ad was the same image as the magazine ad.

  • f. The fifth website ad showed two images of the same woman wearing the grey jumper and white knickers. In the first image she was sitting on the bed with her legs spread apart and her hands resting on the bed between her legs. In the second image she was lying on the bed with her legs spread apart. She was looking up towards the camera.

  • g. The sixth website ad showed four images of the same woman wearing the grey jumper only. In all of the images she was standing, facing diagonally away, and looking over her shoulder towards the camera. Her buttocks were visible in all of the images. The bed was visible in the background.

  • h. The seventh website ad showed two images of a woman wearing white trousers only. In the first image she was standing side-on to the camera. She was arching her back and holding her arms over her breasts. In the second image she was standing diagonally face-on to the camera. She was arching her back with her arms raised to her head, exposing her breasts.

  • i. The eighth website ad showed the same two images of the woman wearing white trousers, superimposed over an image of the American Apparel factory building. Grey lines were drawn onto the images of the woman as if they were pencil drawings.

A complainant challenged whether the images were offensive, because they believed that they were pornographic, exploitative of women and inappropriately sexualised young women.

American Apparel (AA) said they did not believe that any of the images were pornographic, exploitative of women or inappropriately sexualised young women. They said the images on their website featured real, non-airbrushed, everyday people, and that the vast majority of them were not professional models. They said that the sorts of images which appeared were the sorts of images people regularly shared with their friends on social networks and which normal people could relate to. They said the approach was not graphic, explicit or pornographic but was designed to show a range of different images of people that were natural, not posed and real. They said that the women who featured in the images were clearly in their twenties, and emphasised that they were happy, relaxed and confident in expression and pose. They said the women were not portrayed in a manner which was vulnerable, negative or exploitative. They said the partial nudity in some of the images was not explicit or graphic and the poses were intended to show off the products advertised.

AA said that, although they did not have any demographic data with regard to visitors to their website, they imagined that the types of products featured in the images were purchased by young adults in the 18 to 35 age range, and in particular, people in their twenties. They considered it was therefore likely that it would be young adult women who would be viewing the images, and argued that such adult women were highly unlikely to be offended by such images. They said that Crack Magazine, in which ad (d) was published, also had an adult audience and they did not think that its readers would be offended by the image

AA said they believed it was important to judge what was and was not offensive by reference to the current times and the views of the majority of decent and reasonable people, not a small and puritanically-minded minority. They said the images in their advertising were less, and certainly no more, sexual in nature than a large proportion of the images of other companies. They provided copies of ads in a variety of magazines and websites to illustrate their view. They said members of the public were frequently exposed to far more sexually exploitative images in advertising, and even more so in newspapers, television and on the internet. AA said they believed that if the complaint was upheld it would be applying a standard of offensiveness and censorship which would be completely out of date in the more adult and non-repressive world of today, and would also mean that the vast majority of lingerie advertising would be deemed to be offensive, pornographic, exploitative or to inappropriately sexualise women.

Crack Magazine responded in relation to ad (d). They said that although it was regrettable that someone had taken offence to the image, this was the first and only complaint they had received about an American Apparel ad in their magazine and as such it seemed that there was a common consensus amongst their readers that the material was not unduly offensive. They said that, although they appreciated the suggestive nature of the pose and clothes in question, in their opinion there were much worse ads in circulation. They said their audience was an educated, mature, adult demographic that would be able to distinguish between a mildly suggestive ad intended to sell something and something totally inappropriate. They said they felt they were able to distinguish totally inappropriate ads and would censor them and inform their advertisers if that was the case. They did not feel that was the case with ad (d).

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

We noted that ads (a), (b), (h) and (i) featured women whose breasts were exposed, and ads (b), (c), and (g) featured women whose buttocks were exposed. We acknowledged that in some ads, for example ads for lingerie, it was reasonable to feature women in limited amounts of clothing. However, we noted that the majority of clothing items featured in the ads were outer garments, and considered that the nature of the women's poses meant that their breasts and buttocks were the focal points of the images rather than the products. We considered that the nudity was therefore gratuitous. We also considered the women's poses in ads (a), (c), (h) and (i) were sexually provocative, because the poses emphasised their breasts and hips, and that although the poses in ads (b) and (g) were more subtle, the nudity and the flirtatious nature of the poses meant they were also sexually provocative. We noted the woman in ads (d) and (e) was wearing a jumper and knickers, but considered that the nature of her pose meant that the focal point of the image was on her groin rather than on the products. We noted the woman was posing on an unmade bed, that she was gazing into the camera, her arms were raised above her head, her jumper was pulled up slightly and her legs were spread apart, and considered that her pose was therefore sexually provocative. We concluded that the gratuitous nudity in ads (a), (b), (c), (g), (h) and (i), in combination with the sexualised nature of the poses, and the sexually provocative pose in ads (d) and (e), meant the ads were exploitative and inappropriately sexualised young women.

We noted the women appeared to have been photographed in everyday locations, without professional lighting, styling or makeup, and considered that resulted in the impression that the images had been taken by amateur photographers and posed by women who were not professional models. We understood that was at least in part because AA generally did not use professional models in their advertising and preferred to use images featuring real , non-airbrushed, everyday people. We considered that was not in itself problematic. However, we considered that in the particular context of images which featured nudity and sexually provocative poses, there was a voyeuristic and amateurish quality to the images which served to heighten the impression that the ads were exploitative of women and inappropriately sexualised young women. We concluded ads (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (g), (h) and (i) had not been prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society.

Whilst we noted we had not seen any demographic data with regard to visitors to AA's website, we noted AA's view that it was likely that the products featured in the ads would be purchased by young adult women, and therefore that they would be most likely to view the images. We acknowledged that was likely to be the case with regard to the images which appeared in AA's online store. However, we considered that, where the images appeared on the home page and in the Advertising section of AA's website, they were likely to be viewed by a wider audience. Nonetheless, we considered it was likely that ads (a), (b), (c), (e), (g), (h) and (i) were likely to cause serious or widespread offence wherever they appeared on AA's website within the remit of the ASA. With regard to ad (d), we understood Crack Magazine was intended for an educated, mature, adult audience but nonetheless considered that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence in a magazine that was untargeted and freely available in a range of locations including shops, hair salons and pubs.

Not upheld in relation to ad (f)

We considered the pose of the woman in ad (f) was only mildly sexually suggestive, and, in the context of the medium in which it appeared, it was not irresponsible or likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Ads (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (g), (h) and (i) breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).

Ads (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (g), (h) and (i) must not appear again in their current form. We told AA not to use similar images which were exploitative of women or that inappropriately sexualised young women in future.

 

4th April   

Updated: Insulting American Liberty...

Arizona state's legislature passed internet censorship bill
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA

Arizona state seal Arisona's legislature has passed a bill which would update an existing telephone harassment law to apply to the Internet and other forms of electronic communication. The problem, though, is that it dramatically broadens the scope, making it potentially criminal to even marginally offend someone when they aren't even the target of the offensive communication.

The bill reads:

It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use any electronic or digital device and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.

As outlined by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund:

The bill is sweepingly broad, and would make it a crime to communicate -- via any electronic means -- speech that is intended to 'annoy,' 'offend,' 'harass' or 'terrify,' as well as certain sexual speech.

Because the bill is not limited to one-to-one communications, House Bill 2549 would apply to the Internet as a whole, thus criminalizing all manner of writing, cartoons, and other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying.

Words like lewd or profane are not defined by statute, or in reference. Most people understand lewd to mean of a lusty or sexual nature, and profane is disrespectful of religious beliefs and practices. And how does one define annoying, when it's so individual?

Section one of this law is so vague, in fact, that a person could be prosecuted because a friend of a friend of a friend found a Facebook post offensive. Which is ridiculous.

Right now, the only thing standing in this bill's way is the governor's signature.

Update: Not So

4th April 2012. See  article from  business.avn.com

Despite numerous media reports stating that Arizona's HB 2549---the now infamous bill that, as one headline put it, would censor the internet ---has moved from the legislature and is sitting on Gov. Jan Brewer's desk waiting for her John Hancock, such is not the case, according to the Phoenix New Times.

As we've already mentioned twice before, reported Matthew Hendley this afternoon, the bill was never transferred to the governor, contrary to the numerous media reports saying it has. The bill was amended before it passed the Senate, meaning it was returned to the House---where it's apparently been stopped.

The bill, which sponsor Vic Williams says was drafted to address online harassment and stalking, and to protect people's privacy, contains language so sloppily written that UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, who is certainly no tinfoil hat-wearing Leftie, said it would not pass constitutional muster.

 

4th April   

Update: Big Brothers Dave and Nick Blather in the Face of a Public Backlash...

Government spout bollox trying to defend their nasty and massive snooping capability
Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

Big Brother There is a growing backlash against the proposals to let the security services monitor every email, phone call and website visit by politicians from both coalition parties.

Chief among the Conservative rebels was Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, who suggested the proposals were hypocritical given the Prime Minister's previous stance against the control state .

In a 2009 speech Cameron said: Faced with any problem, any crisis, given any excuse, Labour grasp for more information, pulling more and more people into the clutches of state data capture.

Rees-Mogg said: The Government ought to remember why it favoured liberty in opposition. The powers it creates may in future be used by less benevolent administrations.

David Davis, the former Shadow Home Secretary, said the plan was an unnecessary extension of the ability of the State to snoop on people. What this is talking about doing is not focusing on terrorists or criminals. It's absolutely everybody's emails, phone calls, web access.

Senior Liberal Democrats are also planning to rebel. They want the Government to clarify whether the legislation will allow GCHQ to access information on demand and without a warrant. The party passed a motion at its spring conference banning communication interception without named, specific and time-limited warrants.

Tim Farron, the President of the Liberal Democrats, wrote on Twitter: We didn't scrap ID cards to back creeping surveillance by other means. State mustn't be able to trace citizens at will.

Big Brother Clegg tries the angle that there is no central database

See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

While there will be no database, providers will be required to record all activities of their customers so they can be accessed if needed.

Nick Clegg said he was against the idea of a central database and the government reading people's e-mails at will. He claimed: I'm totally opposed as a Liberal Democrat and as someone who believes in people's privacy and civil liberties.

But in fact if the proposal is a rehash of what the police etc wanted under Labour, then they wanted the ISP's to provide access to their local databases so that the police could actually use it like a central database (albeit a little bit slower on database searches).

Clegg also claimed that the government will not ram legislation through Parliament . He said the proposals would be published in draft first to allow them to be debated.

Meanwhile Theresa May has been suggesting that the capability is primarily for tracking down terrorists and paedophiles. But of course that has always been the stated case, and it has never stopped the capability to be used for trivial snooping eg to help councils investigate all sorts of low level nonsense.

LibDems have been fed some blather trying to get them on the government track

See article from privacyinternational.org

An internal Liberal Democrat briefing on Home Office plans to massively expand government surveillance was today passed to Privacy International. The document contains significant evasions and distortions about the proposed Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP), and is clearly intended to persuade unconvinced Lib Dem MPs to vote in favour of the proposal.

...Read the full article

Comment: Obsessive control-freakery

See also Letter to MP by Phantom on the Melon Farmers Forum

The very reason I loathe Labour with a passion is because of the obsessive control-freakery they displayed during their years in power. With their being voted out, it seemed we were rid of these big brother tendencies. Now it appears some in government have been infected by much the same virus.

...

Kindly tell the Home Secretary where to stick her proposals for yet greater surveillance of communications.

...Read the full Letter to MP

Update: Big Brother Cameron Sticks the Boot in to Big Brother Clegg

11th April 2012. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

The Prime Minister said that Nick Clegg was made fully aware during a meeting of the National Security Council of Home Office plans for police powers to monitor internet communications.

In a put-down to his Coalition partners, Cameron said it was important to remember that some of the most senior Liberal Democrats in government waived through the proposals before they were made public.

The Deputy Prime Minister hit back, saying he had made clear in the meeting that he would stop the laws unless civil liberties were protected.

Conservative ministers insist the new laws will simply widen the current scope of powers --- police and intelligence agencies are already allowed to monitor telephone calls, letters and emails. They dispute the idea that monitoring voice calls and other communications over the internet amounts to snooping.

Prominent Lib Dems have expressed outrage that the changes will allow the police greater power to track online communications, such as on Facebook and Skype.

 

4th April   

The Harry Novak Collection: Kiss Me Quick...

BBFC unbans Kiss Me Quick for a new UK DVD release on the Revelation label
Link Here

The Harry Novak Collection Volume Kiss Me Quick is a 1964 US Sci-Fi comedy by Peter Perry Jr. With Max Gardens, Frank A. Coe and Natasha. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong sex, sexualised nudity for:

  • UK 2012 Freemantle/Revelation Harry Novak Collection R2 DVD at UK Amazon for release on 23rd April 2012

Previously Banned

UK: Banned by the BBFC for:
  • UK 1971 cinema release

Summary Review: Staggeringly bad

This was the first film produced by Harry Novak

Sterilox, asexual ambassador from a distant planet, comes down to earth in search of feminine breeding stock. A mad scientist treats the alien to dancing sex robots.

OK Kiss Me Quick is one quirky film with very little plot and enough bare chested women to go around for all. The make-up/FX are so lame you have to laugh.

Staggeringly bad. But of course that makes it bad enough to be good.

 

4th April

 Offsite Article: Hammering away at TV Blame...

Link Here
Daily Mail 'expert' rants: 'I fear this cynical celebration of violence will inspire more young killers'

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

4th April

 Offsite Article: Supporters of Terrorism...

Link Here
US anti-terrorism law curbs free speech and activist work. US anti-terrorist law has incredibly wide definitions that could label innocent people as 'supporters of terrorism'

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

4th April

 Offsite Article: Coloured by Political Correctness...

Link Here
Trayvon Martin case: College newspaper cartoon sparks outrage Suggested the killing was overblown by the media

See article from nydailynews.com

 

4th April

 Offsite Article: Shot Down by Political Correctness...

Link Here
Neighborhood Watch trailer scrapped after shooting

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

3rd April   

Updated: Kiss of the Vampire...

New UK DVD release for Don Sharp's classic Hammer vampire film
Link Here

Kiss Vampire DVD Clifford Evans Kiss of the Vampire is a 1963 UK horror by Don Sharp. With Clifford Evans, Edward de Souza and Noel Willman. See IMDb

UK: Passed 12 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Media Sales/Final Cut R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 2nd April 2012

Summary Review: Stylish

When car trouble strands a honeymooning couple in a small Southern European village, an aristocratic family in the area reaches out to help them with sinister consequences.

An ulta-stylish effort that really is a wonderful film, from its memorable, atmospheric opening scene set in a cemetery to the spectacular climax involving a colony of bats.

It is well acted by a great cast, some of whom appeared in other Hammer films, and it is confidently directed by Don Sharp.

 

3rd April   

Update: Playing Censorship Whist: Nutters Trump Experts...

South Australian law maker wants to make 15 rated games adults only
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

John Rau The introduction of an R18+ rating for video games into Australia has been designed to bring game classification in line with the current system in place for films and other media.

However South Australian Attorney General John Rau has revealed plans to ban anyone under the age of 18 from purchasing Mature Adult video games - titles the Australian Classification Board has deemed appropriate for audiences 15 and older.

A spokesperson for Minister Rau claims the decision is a more practical measure than the previous plan of completely removing MA15+ ratings for video games.

Under Rau's proposed scheme, games classified at a national level at the MA15+ level would be labelled R18+ in South Australia, and could only be sold to legal adults.

South Australian legislation regarding video games is likely to be introduced in State Parliament in May, says Rau in a public statement:

The South Australian legislation will allow the introduction of R18+ games.

However, my long stated position has been to protect children by creating a clearer distinction between games that may be suitable for children and those that are suitable only for adults.

Therefore, my intention is that the South Australian legislation will prevent the sale of MA15+ games to minors. This move will give parents greater certainty about the appropriateness of games for their children.

 

3rd April   

Censored Cover Art 2...

US cover art for the video game Risen 2 has had the blood red colour deleted
Link Here

Risen Waters US Special Edition Xbox 360 The US games censor, ESRB, seems to have something against publisher Deep Silver. First, it forced the company to censor its cover art for Dead Island , which depicted a hanging corpse silhouette.

Risen Dark Waters Xbox 360 Now the ESRB has targeted the upcoming action RPG Risen 2: Dark Waters . It seems the cover art has a bit more blood red than the ESRB would hope for, so all of that nice coloring has been removed.

It should be pointed out that the change only affects North America. That means all those other regions are still getting the original cover with the red stuff behind the skull.

 

3rd April   

Update: Arab Spring Recoils...

Egyptian court declares pornography to be illegal
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Egypt...Egypt blocks political and porn websites

Egypt flag An Egyptian court has outright declared internet pornography illegal. The move comes as pressure mounted on the ruling parties to do something about a supposed pornography problem from nutter groups.

Questions arise as to how enforceable the new law could possibly be. A court in Egypt proclaimed a similar ban in 2009 and it never saw any practical implementation. The country could simply declare it illegal. The other option for the country is to filter its citizen's internet access, a method that is being actively investigated according to rulers, and one which raises many more questions about the country's future.

This move could be the shot that signals a very different Egypt and one that the west won't find as cooperative as has been enjoyed in recent times. The military is still pro west, the country receives billions in military aid every year to keep them that way and to continue their influence over the country's policy. Egypt is very important to the United States for two major reasons. The country borders Israel whose security is a strategic imperative and it surrounds the Suez canal one of the world's most important shipping routes and the most important in terms of energy.

 

3rd April

 Offsite Article: Daily Mail Obsessed by TV Blame...

Link Here  full story: Coronation Street...Complaints and whinges
The latest example from the Daily Mail, The Coronation Street killer: Boy of 14 obsessed with TV soap murder plot battered his mother to death with hammer

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

2nd April   

Update: Al-Jarida daily seized in Sudan over anti government columnist...

Link Here  full story: Press Censorship in Sudan...Press is routinely censored

Sudan flagSudanese intelligence agents seized copies of an independent daily newspaper after it refused to pull an anti-government columnist, the chief editor said.

The confiscation of Al-Jarida adds to thousands of other newspaper pages already seized from publications this year in what the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said is an attempt to silence opposition news coverage.

A few days ago they ordered us by telephone to stop one of our columnists from writing, Al-Jarida's editor, Osman Shinger, told AFP, referring to the security service: We refused. For that reason they stopped our paper from distributing.

 

2nd April   

Twin Big Brothers...

Coalition government proposes extreme internet surveillance
Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

Big Brother UK Police and intelligence officers are to be handed the power to monitor people's messages online in what has been described as an attack on the privacy of vast numbers of Britons.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, intends to introduce legislation in next month's Queen's Speech which would allow law-enforcement agencies to snoop on citizens using Facebook, Twitter, online gaming forums and the video-chat service Skype.

Regional police forces, MI5 and GCHQ, the Government's eavesdropping centre, would be given the right to know who speaks to whom on demand and in real time and without a warrant. Warrants would only be required to view the content of messages.

Civil liberties groups rightfully expressed grave concern at the move. Nick Pickles, director of the Big Brother Watch campaign group, described it as

 An unprecedented step that will see Britain adopt the same kind of surveillance as in China and Iran.

David Davis, the former Conservative shadow Home Secretary, said:

The state was unnecessarily extending its power to snoop on its citizens.

It is not focusing on terrorists or on criminals, the MP said. It is absolutely everybody. Historically, governments have been kept out of our private lives. They don't need this law to protect us. This is an unnecessary extension of the ability of the state to snoop on ordinary innocent people in vast numbers.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats had resisted greater surveillance powers when in opposition:

This is more ambitious than anything that has been done before. The Coalition bound itself together in the language of civil liberties. Do they still mean it?

May is confident of enacting the new law because it has the backing of the Liberal Democrats, once strong supporters of civil liberties, but now obviously not. Senior Liberal Democrat backbenchers are believed to have been briefed by their ministers on the move and are not expected to rebel in any parliamentary vote. A senior adviser to Big Brother Clegg said he had been persuaded of the merits of extending the police and security service powers

The Home Office said that the legislation would be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows , and said:

We need to take action to maintain the continued availability of communications data as technology changes. Communications data includes time, duration and dialling numbers of a phone call or an email address. It does not include the content of any phone call or email and it is not the intention of Government to make changes to the existing legal basis for the interception of communications.

However these claims about not snooping on contents seem somewhat contradictory when considering the proposed extension to social networking. There the communications only exist as the contents of a web page. There are no dialled numbers and email connections on Facebook, just the messages on your wall.

According to The Sunday Times, which broke the story, the ISP's Association, which represents communications firms, was unhappy with the proposal when it was briefed by the Government last month. A senior industry official told the paper: The network operators are going to be asked to put probes in the network and they are upset about the idea... it's expensive, it's intrusive to your customers, it's difficult to see it's going to work and it's going to be a nightmare to run legally.

Comm

Guy Herbert, General Secretary of NO2ID said:

Astonishing brass neck from the Home Office, attempting to feed us reheated leftovers from the authoritarian end of the Blair administration. It is not very far from a bug in every living room that can be turned on and turned off at official whim. Whatever you are doing online, whoever you are in contact with, you will never know when you are being watched. And nobody else will either, because none of it will need a warrant.

Put aside privacy – and the government has – the scheme is an astonishing waste of money. What problem does it solve that is worth billions?

Comment: Acquitted

2nd April 2012.  See  article from  press.mu.no2id.net

No 2 ID logo Guy Herbert, General Secretary of campaign group NO2ID said:

Astonishing brass neck from the Home Office, attempting to feed us reheated leftovers from the authoritarian end of the Blair administration. It is not very far from a bug in every living room that can be turned on and turned off at official whim. Whatever you are doing online, whoever you are in contact with, you will never know when you are being watched. And nobody else will either, because none of it will need a warrant.

It looks like the Home Office is setting out to leapfrog China and gain the UK an unenviable position as the most monitored society in history. The automatic recording and tracing of everything done online by anyone -- of almost all our communications and much of our personal lives, shopping and reading -- just in case it might come in useful to the authorities later, is beyond the dreams of any past totalitarian regime, and beyond the current capabilities of even the most oppressive states.

The vague assertion that all this is needed to deal with the usual bogeyman, terrorism, is worthless. It is hard to imagine any threat that is serious enough to justify it. But something that aims to make surveillance easy will create a demand for surveillance. Unless it is subject to proper controls from the beginning, then the pretexts for access will multiply. That would mean the end of privacy.

Put aside privacy -- and the government has -- the scheme is an astonishing waste of money. What problem does it solve that is worth billions?

Comment: Same Old Policy

3rd April 2012.  From David

It's interesting that the new email/phone snooping thing is *exactly* the same as that about to be brought in by Labour in 2006 - methinks this one is down to the long-term Whitehall Mandarins, rather than any particular party....

 

2nd April   

Updated: Visions of Ecstasy...

Now resurrected on UK DVD
Link Here  full story: Visions of Ecstasy...Resurrected after years of being banned for blasphemy

Visions of Ecstasy DVD Visions of Ecstasy is a 1989 UK erotic short by Nigel Wingrove. With Louise Downie, Elisha Scott and Dan Fox. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for nudity and sex involving religious images for:

  • UK 2012 4Digital/Redemption R2 DVD at UK Amazon released today, 2nd April 2012

Previously Banned

Previously banned by the BBFC for:
  • UK 1989 Axel VHS

The BBFC decision was subsequently appealed to the Video Appeals Committee who upheld the ban. The decision was later confirmed by the European Court.

DVD Features

Included with this historic film is a 40 page, booklet written by the films director, Nigel Wingrove, in which he explains how the film came to be made, the effect its banning had on his life and future work, and how his continuing battles against film censorship led eventually to the resignation of the BBFC's then director, James Ferman, the legalisation of pornography and a general relaxations of film classification overall.

Also included on this DVD are the director s first erotic short film, Axel (1986) and his nunsploitation feature, Sacred Flesh (2000), in which a Mother Superior struggles with her sexual desires in a series of imagined dialogues with Mary Magdalene will her mind torments her with images of sexual perversion, lesbianism and sadomasochism. Sacred Flesh was cut by 25s by the BBFC when it was submitted in 2000.

Additional extras include extensive stills, press gallery and interviews.

 

2nd April   

Update: Picking on the Little Guy...

Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights considers jail to be excessive for an insult on Twitter
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

EU flag The Swansea student given 56 days in prison for posting racially offensive comments on Twitter should not have been jailed, according to Europe's most senior human rights official.

In an interview the day before he left office, Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, said the sentence imposed by British courts on Liam Stacey was excessive.

After six years in his post at Strasbourg, the Swedish official used his departing comments to plead for greater freedom of expression and to question blanket imposition of traditional media restraints on the internet. Hammarberg told the Guardian:

It was too much. He shouldn't have gone to prison. To put him in prison was wrong.

Politicians are at a bit of loss to know how to ... protect internet freedom while also having regulations against [such problems as] hate speech and child pornography.

There are limits to freedom of expression but regulators don't know how to handle this. It would be useful to have a more enlightened discussion at a European level, otherwise we are going to have different practices in different countries.

In traditional media there are editors who are responsible for print content. It's not so easy to have to the same legal procedures when it comes to action [against lone online voices].

People are at a loss to know how to apply rules for the traditional media to the new media. It's tricky and that's why there needs to be a more thorough discussion about this.

 

2nd April   

Cruelty to Campaigners...

Australia's advert censor bans anti-animal testing billboard
Link Here

aact advert An anti-animal-testing billboard has been taken down after the Advertising Standards Bureau declared it depicts violence that is unjustified .

The billboard has been displayed in numerous sites around Tasmania over the past year, the Mercury reported.

It shows a woman's face that has been made up to look as though she has been subjected to tests that animals endure in laboratories worldwide.

The image is part of an awareness-raising campaign by the groups Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania and Choose Cruelty Free about the horrors of animal testing.

AACT spokesman Chris Simcox said:

Use of powerful images such as this one ... have great impact and are justified, he said.

 

2nd April   

Update: Will Surely be Blocked...

Another bill to prevent US companies from exporting internet censorship capability
Link Here  full story: Supporting Internet Censorship...US multi-nationals support repressive censorship

US Senate The US House Foreign Affairs panel has approved legislation that seeks to bar U.S. companies from helping foreign countries in trying to censor the Internet or monitor their citizens' Internet or mobile communications.

The legislation approved by the Africa, Global Health and Human Rights Subcommittee would require the State Department to identify by name in its annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices the countries that restrict access to the Internet. It also would bar U.S. firms from exporting to these countries hardware or software that could be used to spy on or censor citizens.

The Global Online Freedom Act would also require companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges to disclose to the Securities and Exchange Commission what types of information they share with repressive regimes and whether they notify users when they block access to content at their request. Subcommittee Chairman Chris Smith, R-N.J., the bill's sponsor, has said this last provision would allow human rights activists to pressure U.S. companies not to engage in such practices.

Despite this, the bill faces an uphill battle in Congress. Smith has introduced similar versions of the legislation in past years but those measures haven't gone far.

 

1st April   

Update: Unrated or PG-13...

Weinstein Company now reported to be considering a cut PG-13 version
Link Here

bully poster The distributor of the documentary Bully , which is hitting theaters this weekend unrated, is now considering making cuts to secure a PG-13 rating, sources told the Los Angeles Times.

Two Weinstein Company sources, who requested anonymity, said the PG-13 version of Bully would cut profanity from a controversial scene, in which a student is threatened on a school bus.

The edited version would be available to theaters when Bully opens in wider release on April 13, the sources said. It opened Friday in limited release in New York and Los Angeles.

In most cases, the MPAA does not allow differently rated versions of the same film to be in release at the same time, requiring a 90-day "withdrawal period" between releases. But it can make exceptions.

Stephen Bruno, head of marketing for The Weinstein Company, has denied that the company planned to edit Bully, telling the Los Angeles Times:

At this time, there are no plans to change the film for a PG-13. We are in constant conversation with the MPAA and hope a compromise can be reached.

Meanwhile the nutters of the Parents Television Council is calling on all major theaters, including AMC, to adhere to their own policies not to exhibit unrated films. PTC President Tim Winter claimed:

This move, regardless of intentions, sets a precedent that threatens to derail the entire ratings system. If a distribution company can simply decide to operate outside of the ratings system in a case like 'Bully,' nothing would prevent future filmmakers from doing precisely the same thing, with potentially much more problematic material.

 

1st April   

Update: Extreme Censors...

Russia announces plans to open regional internet censors supposedly targeted at extremist materials
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media

russia interior ministry logo The Russian Interior Ministry has announced plans to open specialized centers to monitor online media for extremism, RIA Novosti reports.

Internal Affairs Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said that the new centers would track both text and audio-visual materials. According to Nurgaliyev, the decision was made by an interagency commission and will be implemented throughout the country by regional presidential plenipotentiaries.

Elaborating on the number of anti-extremism cases that the agency has undertaken, the minister said: Two hundred and nineteen cases of investigation and analysis were initiated in 2011. Investigative agencies filed 67 charges and issued 130 cautions, warnings and advisories. In 47 cases, access to particular internet resources was blocked and their activities were halted.

 

1st April   

Updated: Rumours of Repression...

China suspends Twitter-like sites for allowing rumours, no doubt caused by China's own repression of news
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

Weibo logo China has suspended comments on two popular Twitter-like microblogs until April 3.

The state-run Xinhua news service in a report said the two were being punished for allowing rumors to spread.

Some 16 websites have been closed and six people have detained for supposedly fabricated rumors about military vehicles entering Beijing and something wrong going on in Beijing. .

A spokesman for the censors at the State Internet Information Office said the two big microblogs have been criticized and punished accordingly.

Update: Rumours of Coup

1st April 2012. See  article from  guardian.co.uk

chinese tanks China has intensified online censorship by closing 16 websites and detaining six people for spreading rumours of a coup amid Beijing's most serious political crisis for years.

The moves underline official anxieties ahead of this year's leadership transition, particularly since the sacking of Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai led to widespread speculation about infighting at the top.

As the mood on microblogs grew increasingly febrile, there were even claims of an attempted coup in the Chinese capital, complete with photographs of military vehicles that turned out to be from a parade three years ago.

Property tycoon Zhang Xin, who has more than 3 million microblog followers, wrote: What is the best way to stop 'rumours'? It is transparency and openness. The more speech is discouraged, the more rumours there will be.

The underlying problem is that you can't get the truth out of the government, so you might as well believe stuff flying around on the internet, agreed Jeremy Goldkorn, who runs the Danwei website on Chinese media.

 

1st April   

Hardly Kick-Ass Evidence...

Female violence blamed on 'kick-ass' female roles in the media
Link Here

Kill Bill Volume 2 DVD Portrayals of kick-ass women in the media are being blamed for an increase the number of women involved in violent offending.

Two New Zealand researchers believe the glorification of females in roles showing women exhibiting physically aggressive and violent behaviour are having a negative impact on young women.

The most recent figures from Statistics New Zealand recorded 162 more females were apprehended for violent crimes in 2010 than in 2009. This included apprehensions for assaults, intimidation and threats.

University of Canterbury Criminologist Professor Greg Newbold said more women were going out and committing crimes that were traditionally the preserve of men.

Professor Newbold said the type of female imagery available to women and young girls created an increased likelihood of violent offending among females.

It seems to be driven by images in the media of kick-ass women.

The media is full of women who are incredibly sexy and good-looking, and who are mentally and physically tough. The constant exposure of young girls and women to this type of image creates an association between being beautiful and powerful, and being at the top.

Female youth violence researcher Donna Swift said there were more cases of girls fighting and put footage of themselves on the internet and Facebook. Dr Swift is head researcher of Girls Project - a two-year study of 3500 Year 10 students that is investigating the reasons behind violent behaviour amongst girls. She said that in her experience, many young women turned to violence because it was normalised in their own homes and communities.

Girl fighting often is highly sexualised by the media and males themselves, she said.

One of the most startling we found amongst New Zealand female youths was the change in behaviour exhibited by girls when they reached the ages of 15 and 16 years."

 

1st April   

The Bodyguard...

Guarding Whitney Houston's legacy, a new US region free Blu-ray release
Link Here

Bodyguard Blu ray Import Kevin Costner The Bodyguard is a 1992 US romance by Mick Jackson. With Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston and Gary Kemp.See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

Cut in the UK

UK: Passed 15 after a 1s BBFC cut for:
  • UK 2008 Warner Online
  • UK 2005 Warner Special Edition R2 DVD
  • UK 1999 Warner R2 DVD
  • UK 1995 Warner VHS
  • UK 1993 Warner VHS
  • UK 1992 cinema release

The BBFC cut is:

  • A double ear clap by Frank has been removed for BBFC fear of imitation.

 

1st April   

Update: Not in the Domain of the Courts...

Nominet decisions about abusive domain name claims cannot be challenged in court
Link Here  full story: Internet Domain Censorship...In the Domain of Nominet internet censorship

Old Bailey The High Court has ruled that decisions made by Nominet's dispute resolution service (DRS) may not be appealed in the courts, in cases concerning accusations of abusive domain name registration.

The court held that the registration contract did not leave a role for the court, as abusive registration is a term that only has meaning within the context of the Nominet DRS and cannot itself be the cause of legal action before the courts.

The judgement overturns the ruling of the Patents County Court in a dispute between Michael Toth, who registered the domain name emirates.co.uk in 2002, and the Emirates airline, which later sought and gained possession of the domain name through Nominet's dispute resolution service.

Toth successfully appealed to the Patents County Court for a declaration that the domain name was not registered abusively. However, the case was subsequently appealed in the High Court, which last week ruled that the such cases cannot be appealed in the courts.

The DRS and Procedure put in place a regime in which the question of abusive registration is one for, and only for, the Expert appointed under the DRS.

 

1st April   

Confirming the Repressive Reputation of the King of Swaziland...

Swaziland is finalising law to ban criticism of the king
Link Here

Swaziland flag Swaziland is planning a censorship law that will ban Facebook and Twitter users from criticising its autocratic ruler, King Mswati III.

Mswati's 'justice' minister, Mgwagwa Gamedze, told the Swazi senate: We will be tough on those who write bad things about the king on Twitter and Facebook. We want to set an example. He said that t he government is finalising a law that will make it illegal to insult the king on social networks,

The move follows comments last week by the Swazi senator Thuli Msane over how online activism was spiralling out of control and threatening the king's reputation.

Networks such as Facebook and Twitter have been used to organise public protests, including a student demonstration against cutbacks in higher education.

Pius Vilakati, spokesman for the Swaziland Solidarity Network, condemned the planned crackdown. The government is desperate right now. They are trying anything to stop people talking to each other, he said. It would be difficult for them, because people will always talk and continue to talk.

 

1st April   

Jumped Up App Censors...

Shoe Wars game app banned in Saudi
Link Here

shoe wars shoewarsapp.com have confirmed that the Show Wars game has been withdrawn from sale in Saudi Arabia.

This decision was made following feedback that the female character's jumping sound effect was considered too sexual and may cause cultural offence.

A modified version of the app will be available in S.A., in April without this supposedly objectionable content.

The objective of the game is to navigate through the SW Department store at SALE time and spend as much on your credit card as possible.